Antarctic Iceberg A Quarter The Size Of Wales Splits From Ice Shelf

Antarctic Iceberg A Quarter The Size Of Wales Splits From Ice Shelf

An iceberg the size of DE is expected to break off the Larsen C ice shelf because of a huge rift in that location on the Antarctic Peninsula. With an area of 11,007 square kilometers (4,250 square miles) - about the size of the state of CT or the island of Jamaica - it calved off Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000. According to reports, the iceberg weighs a trillion tonne and was of the size of Luxembourg.

A huge iceberg the size of a Great Lake, one of the largest ever, split from an ice shelf in Antarctica sometime since Monday, according to researchers tracking its progress.

The iceberg's calving-a term used to describe when ice chunks break from the edge of a glacier-was expected, as scientists had been tracking a fissure in the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica for months.

Scientists had been monitoring the vast crack in the Larsen C ice shelf for nearly a decade so the news that it had finally created an iceberg was not shocking.

Martin Siegert, of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change & Environment, said that the calving does not necessarily mean that the ice shelf is about to disintegrate.

With the loss of this new iceberg, the Larsen C shelf is now at its smallest size since the last ice age ended, around 11,700 years ago, the BBC reported.

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"It was already floating before it calved away so has no immediate impact on sea level", MIDAS said. The final breakthrough was detected in data from Nasa's Aqua MODIS satellite instrument. The iceberg that broke off of it made up roughly 12% of its total volume. The crack happened in the Larsen C Ice Shelf, the researchers announced on Wednesday. "If large portions of an ice shelf are removed by calving, the inflow of glaciers can speed up and contribute to sea-level rise".

While it does seem unusual, Schoof explained big icebergs have broken off Antarctica in the past, and it's part of a natural process.

"This calving is dramatic but normal in the life cycle of an ice shelf", said the British Antarctic Survey. He stressed that ice shelves naturally break up as they extend further out into the ocean and this is not the first massive iceberg that formed.

A USA satellite noticed that the iceberg had split off from the shelf while it was passing over the area on Wednesday, the BBC reported.

But the team's prior research indicates an ice shelf is likely less stable now that A68 is floating free. "We're going to be watching very carefully for signs that that rest of the shelf is becoming unstable".

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