A large shelf of ice the size of Connecticut is anticipated to break away from the Antarctic Peninsula, according to officials.

The Wilkins Ice Shelf has developed rifts between itself and mainland islands as detected in satellite images. The shelf was stable for the majority of the last century, then began its separation in the 90s, according to the European Space Agency. It is the largest ice shelf on the peninsula that has been under threat.

The ice shelf is already floating, so it will not cause the sea level to rise if it should break away completely. However, wildlife and vegetation may have to adapt to the change.

This follows several previous breaks on the ice shelf. In May 2008 it lost a 62-square-mile piece, and in February of that year it lost a total of about 164 square miles.

Story by AccuWeather.com News Correspondent Gina Cherundolo