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23:51 19-11-2017
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Trillion-tonne iceberg breaks off Antarctica: scientists
World | science | 16:05, 12 July 2017 | 3508

AKIPRESS.COM - A giant iceberg has broken off an ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula and is now adrift in the Weddell Sea, Guardianreported.

Reported to be “hanging by a thread” last month, the trillion-tonne iceberg was found to have split off from the Larsen C section of the Larsen ice shelf on Wednesday morning after scientists examined the latest satellite data from the area.

The Larsen C ice shelf is now 10% smaller than before the iceberg broke off – or “calved” – an event that researchers say has changed the shape of the Antarctic peninsula and left the Larsen C ice shelf at its lowest extent ever recorded.

At 5,800 sq km the new iceberg, expected to be dubbed A68, is half as big as the record-holding iceberg B-15 which split off from the Ross ice shelf in the year 2000, but it is nonetheless believed to be among the 10 largest icebergs ever recorded.

“It is a really major event in terms of the size of the ice tablet that we’ve got now drifting away,” said Anna Hogg, an expert in satellite observations of glaciers from the University of Leeds.

But while the birth of the huge iceberg might look dramatic, experts say it will not itself result in sea level rises. “It’s like your ice cube in your gin and tonic – it is already floating and if it melts it doesn’t change the volume of water in the glass by very much at all,” said Hogg.

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