Massive iceberg breaks off in Antarctica

ESA satellite image of an iceberg which broke away as part of the natural cycle of iceberg calving off the Larsen-C ice shelf in Antarctica

Just in case you were wondering, DE has a total area of 1,982 square miles or 5,130 kilometers. But he adds, the roughly trillion-metric-ton iceberg is unusual.

"The iceberg is one of the largest recorded and its future progress is hard to predict, It may remain in one piece but is more likely to break into fragments", Luckman said in a statement on Wednesday. "Icebergs are calving all the time in Antarctica, and really that forms part of the natural life cycle of any ice shelf", Hogg says.

"The iceberg broke off the ice shelf, because it was washed away by the ocean's warming waters from the bottom".

Scientists have been watching the giant crack in the Larsen C ice shelf for a long time, and waiting for the berg to break off.

However, experts still believe the event can help predict what may happen if climate change ends up causing more rifts in the peninsula's ice shelves.

Larsen C is between 200 and 600 meters thick and floats on the ocean at the edge of the Antarctic Peninsula, holding back the flow of glaciers that feed into it.

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.

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Other similar incidents on the Larsen A and Larsen B shelves caused a rise in sea level, so that could be problematic in the future, too. The newly created iceberg is likely one of the top ten largest ever recorded, according to the BBC.

Climate change may be one of the first things that comes to mind when considering an enormous iceberg breaking away from Antarctica, but the relationship between the mass and climate change is quite complicated.

On Wednesday, a US satellite observed that an existing crack in the Larsen C Ice Shelf appears to have broken through.

Dr. Martin O'Leary, a glaciologist and a member of the Project MIDAS team, said the calving leaves the ice shelf in a vulnerable position.

One major concern that the researchers from Swansea University have is whether or not this huge carving will result in the complete collapse of the ice shelf.

But the shelves hold back the greater ice sheet, land-based ice making up the bulk of the Antarctic continent.

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