Huge iceberg breaks off of Antarctica

Posted July 13, 2017

Should the 1 trillion ton iceberg, which is larger than DE and more than twice the size of Rhode Island, begin to migrate, it could be a substantial disruption to transportation. According to reports, the iceberg weighs a trillion tonne and was of the size of Luxembourg. A vast iceberg with twice the volume of Lake Erie has broken off from a key floating ice shelf in Antarctica, scientists said Wednesday July 12, 2017.

"The remaining shelf will be at its smallest ever known size", Adrian Luckman, a lead researcher for Project Midas, which has been monitoring the sheet since 2014, told the Times "This is a big change".

A thermal image taken by NASA's MODIS satellite shows the giant iceberg is no longer connected to the main ice shelf.

The iceberg, which is likely to be named A68, was already floating before it broke away so there is no immediate impact on sea levels, but the calving has left the Larsen C ice shelf reduced in area by more than 12 percent. Though scientists will determine if the break-away section will have a significant impact to the rest of the Antarctica shelf.

"Our glaciologists will now be watching closely to see whether the remaining Larsen C ice shelf becomes less stable than before the iceberg broke free", he said.

"The collapse of Larsen A and B has been connected to warming ocean temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula", said Jansen.

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The Larsen Ice Shelf is actually a series of shelves that's been breaking up since the 1990s. "If large portions of an ice shelf are removed by calving, the inflow of glaciers can speed up and contribute to sea-level rise".

The calving comes one week after Project Midas, a group of scientists from Welsh universities in Swansea and Aberystwyth charged with studying the shelf using European Union and NASA satellites, reported that the separation of soon-to-be A68 iceberg was imminent.

Big icebergs break off Antarctica naturally, meaning scientists are not linking the rift to manmade climate change.

Experts say the new huge iceberg will not directly make sea levels rise. Satellite imagery incidated that the iceberg had calved.

Dr Martin O'Leary, a glaciologist who also worked as a part of the MIDAS team, said the shelf is now in a "very vulnerable position".