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Massive Iceberg Separates From Antarctic Shelf

Sadly, scientists are not surprised.

Sadly, scientists are not surprised.
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Scientists have been keeping an eye on the Larson C segment of the Antarctic coast for a while now. Unfortunately, a massive iceberg has broken away. Now scientists are wondering why and what the consequences will be.

A new satellite image recently revealed that the iceberg—the largest to ever break from the Antarctic coast—is now detached and floating in the Weddell Sea. The iceberg is 3 km (~2 mi) wide, 200 km (~124 mi) in length, 350 m (~1148 ft) deep, and 5,800 square km (~3604 square mi) in area. It’s pretty much the size of Delaware, half the size of London, a quarter the size of Wales… (Whichever helps you visualize it better.)

massive iceberg

According to an article from the New York Times, the gulf was first noticed in 2011 and hasn’t stopped growing (see the image above), extending more rapidly since last December. So really, the separation was inevitable.

Experts are trying to figure out if the split is linked to climate change at all, as well as how severe the consequences are going to be. It shouldn’t immediately affect sea levels, though there is the worry that it will speed up glacial flow. As was the case with Larson B in 2002, this could have an impact on global sea levels. Only time will tell.

Currently, scientists are planning on redrawing maps. You could say that the Antarctic Peninsula is going to look a bit different from now on.

On a more positive note, check out this super rad latte art.

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