A massive iceberg, one which is said to be the size of Los Angeles or slightly larger than New York City, has broken off Antarctica, scientists recently confirmed.
The iceberg 'calved' (broke off) from Antarctica's Brunt Ice Shelf on February 26th, but members of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), have been warning the public since November that the event was 'imminent.'
It is estimated to be around more than 490 square miles (1,270 square kilometres) in size.
Britain's Helley research station was near the calved iceberg, but fortunately it was completely empty at the time, as the 12-person staff of the research centre had left earlier that month.
'North Rift is the third major crack through the ice shelf to become active in the last decade,' BAS wrote in a report on their website.
The group also shared a video of the crack on their official Twitter page.
Brunt Ice Shelf calves along North Rift chasm - A 1270 km² #iceberg has broken off the #BruntIceShelf.#HalleyVI Research Station is closed for the winter and unlikely to be affected.— British Antarctic Survey (@BAS_News) February 26, 2021
Full story: https://t.co/l13QrWdnB0
📽️ #NorthRift, #Antarctica, 16 Feb 2021, @BAS_News pic.twitter.com/QyNt7sVOzT
Users had varying reactions to the calving: some were concerned, while others chose to make jokes about the event.
Nearly 500 square miles of ice just broke off and fell into the sea.— Michael Rudnin (@AvangionQ) February 28, 2021
If only this was captured on video, maybe the world would have taken notice.
That looks scary— India de La Rosee 💙 (@IndiadelaRosee) February 28, 2021
Was it him again? pic.twitter.com/lbJPwiPlXO— E. Ali 🖤⚪🖤 (@rebel1903) February 28, 2021
This is a whole country breaking in two 😲— Ute reckl 🇪🇺📚🍀 (@uterebk) February 26, 2021
One user even compared the crack as being akin to something from the 2004 disaster film, The Day After Tomorrow.
" The Day After Tomorrow" https://t.co/7oKb6H8MqP— Simon Templar (@SimonTemplar_07) February 26, 2021
The BAS also revealed that The North Rift, the crack which caused the iceberg to break off, is the third major crack to develop on the Brunt Ice Shelf since 2011.
However, researchers are more concerned with two other cracks that have been accelerating toward each other since 2019: one known as the Halloween crack and Chasm 1.
If these two scary-sounding icebergs meet, that could mean an even bigger iceberg will break off the continent.
The collapse of the iceberg in question raises a huge red flag for humanity… will the 2020s be the decade in which our planet takes the issue of Antarctic preservation and climate change seriously?
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