Sunday, 22 October 2017
Latest news
Main » Trillion-ton iceberg breaks off from Antarctic ice shelf

Trillion-ton iceberg breaks off from Antarctic ice shelf

13 July 2017

The iceberg is described as weighing 1 trillion tons (1.12 trillion USA tons).

Project MIDAS, a UK-based Antarctic research project, has been following the progress of the rift in the Larsen C ice shelf, following the disintegration of Larsen A in 1995 and Larsen B in 2002.

The 2,200-square-mile (5,800-square-kilometer) iceberg, which weighs more than 1 trillion tons, is one of the largest ever recorded. Luckman said more icebergs might break off, or the ice shelf could regrow.

Scientists from Swansea and Aberystwyth universities in Wales have been monitoring the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, where a large crack had grown over the past year.

According to the head of the climate program of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Russia, Alexei Kokorin, the split of the giant iceberg in Antarctica was facilitated by the warming of the Southern Ocean.

Though the Larsen C ice shelf will regenerate to some extent, most researchers agree the loss of the iceberg will leave the ice shelf significantly less stable than it was before the break.

A close-up view of the crack in the Larsen C ice shelf before the break.

Nervous Federer eases past Lajovic into third round
The former world number one will play 29th seed Juan Martin del Potro or Ernests Gulbis in a tough third round match on Saturday. Grigor Dimitrov , the 13th-seeded player from Bulgaria, beat Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 and will next face Sela.

Scientists report that the iceberg was actually floating long before it separated from the ice shelf which is why there has been no immediate impact on the sea level.

The final breakaway was detected in data from a satellite instrument of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which images in the thermal infrared at a resolution of 1 kilometer, and confirmed by another instrument.

The new iceberg now poses as a risk for ships passing through the peninsula, according to Reuters.

The growth of the crack reportedly sped up starting in 2014, and, as Mic reported earlier in July, scientists had been preparing for a large iceberg to cleave off of the ice shelf as a result of the rift. The collapse of the ice shelf began on the Eastern front, Antarctica in 2014.

As if Antarctica weren't already a frightening enough place, the latest development offers new chills: A massive iceberg just splintered from an Antarctic ice shelf, and is now floating on its own in the Southern Ocean.

"This calving is dramatic but normal in the life cycle of an ice shelf", said the British Antarctic Survey.

But Swansea University glaciologist Martin O'Leary, a member of the MIDAS project, called it "a natural event, and we're not aware of any link to human-induced climate change".

Trillion-ton iceberg breaks off from Antarctic ice shelf