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Vast iceberg poised to break off from Antarctic shelf

Vast iceberg poised to break off from Antarctic shelf”

When the Delaware-sized chunk of ice breaks away, the Larsen C ice shelf will lose more than 10 percent of its area, Project MIDAS said.

A huge crack across the Larsen C ice shelf has widened in the past few months, and a vast iceberg is expected to break off.

"Climate warming must be playing a part in the overall picture of ice shelf loss, it's just that this particularly large iceberg coming from Larsen C, we can not attribute directly to climate change", Professor Luckman says.

"We are convinced, although others are not, that the remaining ice shelf will be less stable than the present one", said Professor Luckman from Swansea University and leader of MIDAS project.

The world's oceans have already risen by an average of 8 inches over the last century from a combination of water added by ice melt and the expansion of ocean waters as they warm. The rift in Larsen C grew suddenly in December 2016, according to a blog on the group's website.

Scientists who study the ice-covered continent have been watching the Larsen Ice Shelf for almost a decade.

This vast iceberg could end up being the size of DE, according to Reuters. The first part of the ice shelf, Larsen A, disintegrated in that year, with the larger Larsen B following in 2002.

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"The event will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula, " researchers said.

Researchers have been keeping a close eye on the crack in this ice shelf for many years. Only a final 12 miles of ice now connects the iceberg to its parent ice shelf, according to Project MIDAS, a British Antarctic research project. The absence of ice shelf will lead to a situation where the water from the melting glaciers will flow directly into the ocean and raise the sea level.

Progression of the Larsen C Ice Shelf rift. There is, however, plenty of evidence linking warmer atmospheric and ocean temperatures to ice shrinkage elsewhere on the continent. "It appears global warming is replicating conditions that, in the past, triggered significant shifts in the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet".

"The removal of a large chunk of ice", O'Leary says, "may make the ice shelf more vulnerable to the effects of climate change in the future". The Larsen Ice Shelf is actually a series of three interconnected shelves, that grew out from the Antarctic Mainland over tens of thousands of years.

It's normal for the front of an ice shelf to crack and break off, known as calving.

The Larsen A ice shelf had previously collapsed in 1995.

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