Iceberg that broke off Antarctica leaves scientists concerned

Written on 03/03/2021
CLIMATE CHANGE


By Ciarán Mather

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.



Users had varying reactions to the calving: some were concerned, while others chose to make jokes about the event.



One user even compared the crack as being akin to something from the 2004 disaster film, The Day After Tomorrow.



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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