- The glacier has an area of 490 square miles, which is larger than the size of New York City, which is 302 square miles.
- The last major hunk to appear in this area was in the early 1970s.
- There is no evidence that climate change played a significant role in this event.
A huge iceberg broke the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica, British researchers announced.
It has an area of 490 square miles, and is larger than New York City at 302 square miles.
A crack in the ice shelf widened several hundreds of meters on Friday before the iceberg separated. The last large piece found in this area was in the early 1970s, and She told the BBC.
The event was not surprising: “Our teams at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have been preparing to extract an iceberg from the Brunt Ice Shelf for years,” BAS Director Jane Francis said in a statement.
The Haley Research Station of the British Antarctic Survey is located on the Brent Ice Shelf. Glaciologists said the research station was unlikely to be affected by the birth event, the so-called process of refraction.
The team of 12 workers left the station in mid-February, and the station is closed due to the Antarctic winter.
“This is a dynamic situation,” Simon Jarrod, director of operations for the British Antarctic Survey, said in a statement. “Four years ago, we moved the Haley Research Station inland to ensure it was not moved away when an iceberg finally formed. That was a wise decision. Our task now is to closely monitor the situation and assess any potential impact of current calves on the remaining ice shelf.”
Ice shelves are floating sheets attached to the ground, according to National Snow and Snow Data Center. Since the ice is already floating, the newly created iceberg will not contribute to rising sea levels.
The British Antarctic Survey said the ice composition of this vast floating ice shelf is complex, and the impact of birth events is unpredictable.
The association said there is no evidence that climate change played a significant role in the event. Calves are a completely natural process where ice flowing on the ground meets the ocean or large lakes.
Every year, between 10,000 to 15,000 icebergs are created worldwide, most of them on the small side, according to Canadian Geographic. The largest iceberg off Antarctica was recorded in 2000: this mountain was the size of the island of Jamaica.
As for what will happen to this glacier, Francis said that “in the coming weeks or months, the glacier may move away; or it can run and stay close to Brunt Ice Shelf.”
Although this glacier is huge, it still shrinks in front of the piece of ice that has split off The Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica in 2017, Which recently threatened to collide with South Georgia Island, which is among the largest on record at 2,240 square miles. Gizmodo said.
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