Tags: iceberg | breaking | antarctica | larsen c

Iceberg Breaking Off Antarctica at Faster Rate

Image: Iceberg Breaking Off Antarctica at Faster Rate

A giant iceberg is about to break away from the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica. Explore the interactive map to learn more. (John Sonntag/NASA)

By    |   Thursday, 29 Jun 2017 11:21 AM

An iceberg the size of Delaware could break off Antarctica in a matter of hours or weeks, researchers with the British Project MIDAS wrote in its latest blog.

The project has been monitoring Antarctica's Larsen C ice sheet and found that part of it was breaking because of the warming climate, Live Science reported. Scientists think an iceberg will eventually break from the ice sheet, which makes up 9 to 12 percent of the total Larsen C area, according to Live Science.

"In another sign that the iceberg calving is imminent, the soon-to-be-iceberg part of Larsen C Ice Shelf has tripled in speed to more than ten meters per day between 24th and 27th June 2017," Project MIDAS stated on its blog Wednesday.

"The iceberg remains attached to the ice shelf, but its outer end is moving at the highest speed ever recorded on this ice shelf. We still can't tell when calving will occur – it could be hours, days or weeks – but this is a notable departure from previous observations," the blog continued.

Live Science wrote that the crack in the ice sheet was 70 miles long in early December, but increased to 109 miles six weeks later. The website stated a new crack was spotted in May while the main crack stabilized in length but continued to grow in width.

Project MIDAS stated, though, that there is no evidence to link the growth of this rift, and the eventual calving of the Larsen ice sheet to climate change, wrote USA Today.

"However, it is widely accepted that warming ocean and atmospheric temperatures have been a factor in earlier disintegrations of ice shelves elsewhere on the Antarctic Peninsula, most notably Larsen A in 1995 and Larsen B in 2002," noted USA Today writer Doyle Rice.

"Global warming has pushed temperatures up to 5 degrees higher in the region since the 1950s and could increase up to 7 degrees more by the end of the century, putting more stress on ice, according to Climate Central," Rice continued.

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An iceberg the size of Delaware could break off Antarctica in a matter of hours or weeks, researchers with the British Project MIDAS wrote in its latest blog.
iceberg, breaking, antarctica, larsen c
342
2017-21-29
Thursday, 29 Jun 2017 11:21 AM
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