Antarctica: “The iceberg weighs more than a trillion tons, but it was already floating before it calved away so has no immediate impact on sea level,” said a team of researchers from the MIDAS Antarctic research project.
A piece of 5,698 square kilometres of the Larsen C glacier departed from Monday to Wednesday, The Swansea University team of experts said.
Satellite data confirms the “birth” of a 5,800 km2 iceberg formed by the Larsen C glacier, which has changed the shape of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Based on the information provided by the CryoSat satellite, ESA announced that “the final iceberg will have a thickness of about 190 meters (623.3 ft) and will contain about 1,155 cubic meters of ice”, but that the size below the sea level “could reach 201 meters (659.4 ft) “.
“Hanging on a thread” last month, the 5,800 square kilometre iceberg weighs 1 trillion tons.
He broke out of the Larsen C section of the Larsen ice shelf on Wednesday morning after the scientists examined the latest satellite data.
The ice cube Larsen C is now 10% smaller than before the iceberg was “born” – an event the researchers say changed the shape of the Antarctic Peninsula and left the Larsen C ice shelf at the lowest level ever.
The new iceberg, which is expected to be called the A68, is half as large as the iceberg B-15, which broke off the Ross ice shelf in 2000.
It is among the 10 largest icebergs ever recorded.
The giant rift that gave rise to the new iceberg has grown for many years, but between May 25 and May 31, the rupture has risen by 17 km (10.56 mi) – the highest rise since January.
Between June 24 and June 27, the ice movement has worsened by reaching a rate of more than 10 meters (32.8 ft) per day.
Although such cracks occur regularly, experts also check whether the process has been influenced by climate change.
It could remain whole, but most likely will break into pieces, which would increase the risks to navigation.
Iceberg will have no impact on ocean levels, as it is already floating on the water.
Eventually, Larsen C could have the same fate as Larsen B, another barrier of ice that disintegrated spectacularly in 2002 after a similar process. A third glacier platform, Larsen A, disappeared in 1995.
Iceberg formation is a natural process, which the warming of air and oceans accelerates, scientists have pointed out.