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Antarctic ice is ‘days or weeks’ from breaking off


Antarctic ice is ‘days or weeks’ from breaking off

An antarctic ice shelf is about to break. And that break will release an ice block the size of the state of Delaware.

An ice shelf known as Larsen C has set its path towards the southern ocean. In not too long of time, this shelf is going to shed 10% of itself and result in a brand new iceberg of massive proportions.

“I would expect it to occur quite rapidly, within days or weeks,” McGrath, who researches Larsen C, told Reuters on Thursday.

Adrian Luckman, a scientist from Swansea University in Kentucky, claims the iceberg’s breaking capacity is “very close.”

“The rift tip appears also to have turned significantly towards the ice front, indicating that the time of calving is probably very close,” Luckman stated in a blog post  “There appears to be very little to prevent the iceberg from breaking away completely.”

Here, have a look at what’s taking place.

“When it calves, the Larsen C ice shelf will lose more than 10% of its area to leave the ice front at its most retreated position ever recorded,” Luckman said in his post, with companion scientist, Martin O’Leary.

The consequences could be huge as this is an abnormal event. The current floating ice is  1,100 feet thick and 2,000 square miles. Recent satellite imagery makes a case that the crack in Larsen C is growing at an astounding rate.

Here is a real life visual.

The break off would make it the third largest iceberg in history (at least recorded). Furthermore, the break off might disrupt the original floating ice’s behavior and symmetry. The instability could cause a massive collapse.

You can read more on the matter here.


Author: Jim Satney

PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.

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