Iceberg Size of Delaware Poised to Break Off From Antarctica
Iceberg Size of Delaware Poised to Break Off From Antarctica – NBCNews
An oblique view of a massive rift in the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctica, on Nov. 10, 2016. John Sonntag / NASA via EPA
An iceberg the size of Delaware is poised to break away from Antarctica, an event which may lead to the collapse of a massive ice shelf on the continent, according to researchers.Scientists say that a 1,900 square-mile section of the “Larsen C” ice shelf is now only connected to the main body by a 12-mile section of ice. Researchers monitoring a huge crack in the ice discovered that it had grown rapidly during the second half of 2016 — increasing in size by 11 miles in December alone.
If the iceberg does break away, it would be one of the ten largest ever recorded.
When the iceberg breaks off, or calves, the shelf will lose around 10 percent of its surface area, leaving it at its most-retreated ever recorded position, according to researchers at Project MIDAS, a British-backed Antarctic research project.
“If it doesn’t go in the next few months, I’ll be amazed,” project leader Professor Adrian Luckman, from the U.K.’s Swansea University told the BBC. Researchers had previously suggested that a calving event could take place at some stage in the next decade.
Scientists say that calving events like this one could lead the Larsen C ice shelf to disintegrate entirely, as its neighbor Larsen B did in 2002…
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