Very little appears to be in the way of preventing the Larsen C ice shelf from calving and becoming one of the largest icebergs ever recorded, The Washington Post reported.
The crack in one of Antarctica's largest ice shelves grew 11 miles between May 25 and 31, according to researchers with Project MIDAS, a group studying the shelf based out of Swansea University and Aberystwyth University in Wales, and has just eight miles to go before an iceberg the size of Delaware breaks off into the Southern Ocean.
"The rift has now fully breached the zone of soft 'suture' ice originating at the Cole Peninsula and there appears to be very little to prevent the iceberg from breaking away completely," scientists wrote on the MIDAS blog.
The break will "will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula," when it calves, the Project MIDAS team wrote. "We have previously shown that the new configuration will be less stable than it was prior to the rift, and that Larsen C may eventually follow the example of its neighbour Larsen B, which disintegrated in 2002 following a similar rift-induced calving event."
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