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Massive Antarctic iceberg begin to break away

Iceberg is expected to be one of the top 10 ever recorded willing to break away from Antarctica, scientists said.

The longstanding dispute in the ice shelf Larsen C suddenly rises in December and is now only 20 kilometers of ice keeps 5.000 km square piece of floating away.

Larsen C ice shelf north of most of Antarctica.

The researchers, based in Swansea, said loss of a part of a Wales size of the room will leave on the shelf exposed to break-up future.

Larsen C is about 350 m thick and floats on the sea on the outskirts of West Antarctica, resist the flow of glaciers, living it.

Researchers discovered cracks in the Larsen C for years, watching with some concern, after the collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf in 1995 and the sudden dissolution of the Larsen B platform in 2002.

Last year, reports the British scientists that UK Project Midas dispute Larsen C has grown rapidly.

But in December disputes speed went into overdrive, developed by 18 km in just a few weeks. What would be the large number of now it is by a rack 20 km long wire.

Antarctic iceberg will be surprised

Massive antarctic-iceberg

“If he will not in the coming months, I will be surprised,” said project manager Prof. Adrian Luckman, University of Swansea

“Free Landsat image enough cloud there is nothing, but we managed to combine a couple of Sentinel-1 radar images Esa notice of this expansion, and it was so close to giving birth, I think it’s inevitable.”

Prof. Luckman said area will decide will be about 5000 square kilometers, the size he says that would put the number in the top 10 were recorded.

What Researchers say

The researchers say that this is a geographical and climatic events. dispute has been present for decades, they say, but was drilled at a given time.

It is believed that climate change was brought before a possible separation of the iceberg, but scientists said they had no direct evidence to support this.

But they are concerned about how the break-off would affect the rest of the ice shelf, as a neighbor, Larsen B, spectacular destroyed in 2002, after delivery of the same.

We think even if others do not, the remaining ice cover may be less stable than those currently in use, “says Professor Luckman.

“We hope that in the months or years to get more events children, and could collapse, possibly – but it is very difficult to predict anything, and our model says that it will be less stable, not that it would soon break together or something. ”

As it floats in the sea, resulting iceberg shelf will not increase the water level. But if the stand is stopped, it can cause a glacier that flows from the ground on the other side to accelerate its course towards the sea. This is not the floating ice will have an impact on the sea surface.

According to estimates, if the entire ice shelf Larsen C now holds it back into the ocean, the global water rise by 10 centimeters.

Everything in the future. There are some security now than a permanent move to the coast of the Antarctic ice.

“The end result may be the collapse of ice sheets in the years of the decade,” says Professor Luckman,

“While contributions sea level in the region is not on the radar of anyone, it’s just a great event that will change the landscape of geography there.”

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