A giant section of an Antarctic ice shelf has broken free releasing a 5,000 sq km iceberg into the Weddel Sea. That’s four times the size of London, or a quorter of the size of Wales.
All eyes are on Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf now.
One of the biggest icebergs on record has broken away from Antarctica, scientists have said, creating an extra hazard for ships around the continent as it breaks up.
The 1 trillion-tonne iceberg, measuring 5,800 square kilometres, calved away from the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica sometime between July 10 and 12, scientists at the University of Swansea and the British Antarctic Survey said.
The iceberg has been close to breaking off for a few months. Throughout the Antarctic winter, scientists monitored the progress of the rift in the ice shelf using the European Space Agency satellites.
“The iceberg is one of the largest recorded and its future progress is difficult to predict,” said Adrian Luckman, professor at Swansea University and lead investigator of Project MIDAS, which has been monitoring the ice shelf for years.
“It may remain in one piece but is more likely to break into fragments. Some of the ice may remain in the area for decades, while parts of the iceberg may drift north into warmer waters,” he added.
The one trillion tonne iceberg: Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through
Images credit: ESA, NASA
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