News Worms
News Worms


Iceberg The Size Of Delaware Breaks Off From Antartica

Iceberg The Size Of Delaware Breaks Off From Antartica

After being on high alert for months, a 5,800 square km, one trillion-ton iceberg has finally broken free of the Larsen C ice shelf.

Though scientists have been expecting its latest move - which reportedly occurred sometime between Monday, July 10, and Wednesday, July 12 - for a while now, I'm feeling unsettled by the news. According to reports, the iceberg weighs a trillion tonne and was of the size of Luxembourg.

Scientists from Project MIDAS - a British Antarctic Survey project involving researchers from several British universities - said past year that they feared the entire ice shelf could become unstable.

An iceberg roughly the size of DE and weighing more than a trillion tons has broken off an ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula.

"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". However, the cause has not been attributed to climate change.

The project has been investigating the effects of global warming on the Larsen C ice shelf in West Antarctica, which has caused large melt ponds to form on the ice shelf, according to the project's website. The glaciers behind the Larsen C Ice Shelf are not almost as large as those elsewhere around Antarctica, but it's possible (though not certain) that their shrinkage could eventually speed up because of this loss from the ice shelf. The final breakthrough was detected in images from NASA's satellite instruments, they said. Land ice floating into the ocean does contribute to sea level rise: For every 360 billion tons of ice that reach the ocean, sea levels worldwide rise by 1 millimeter. It also continuously formed new branches in the crack, with a major branch earlier in 2017 eventually leading to this split. The mission, which makes airborne surveys of changes in polar ice, completed its eighth consecutive Antarctic deployment later that month.

Researchers have previously shown the rift could increase the risk of instability leading to the wider ice shelf's collapse - a fate which befell its neighbour Larsen B, seven years after it experienced its own calving event in 1995.

"We will study the ice shelf for signs that it is reacting to the calving - but we do not expect anything much to happen for perhaps years".

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