Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Huge iceberg in Greater London breaks off Antarctic ice shelf

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A large iceberg, almost the size of Greater London, has broken away from the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

Dramatic images show a massive 600-square-mile expanse of ice in what researchers say is the second major break-off in the region in the last two years.

But the British Antarctic Survey said there was nothing – or almost nothing – to worry about as the phenomenon was normal and not caused by climate change.

“Some of the ice shelves that have broken up in more northerly locations are the result of climate change. But this one is further south,” explained Professor Dominic Hodgson, a glaciologist with the British Antarctic Survey.

“And it’s even worse. It’s well below freezing there,” he added.

“So it’s not linked to changes in atmospheric or ocean temperatures. The reason it matters is a very large calving event for Antarctica.

“We see these types of calving events regularly and also the ice shelf – our station was on the piece of the ice shelf that broke off.

“So if we hadn’t misplaced it a few years ago, we would be in a situation now where we have an abortifacient ward,” he explained.

The iceberg probably wouldn’t affect sea levels dramatically, researchers said, and it’s being named by officials at the US National Ice Center.

“It’s at the edge of the Antarctic ice sheet, where the ice sheet leaves the land and then extends into the sea,” adds Professor Dominic Hodgson.

“We had a communication from our remote instruments on the Ice Shelf informing us that a portion of the Ice Shelf roughly the size of Greater London has calved.”

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Dramatic images show a massive 600-square-mile expanse of ice in what researchers say is the second major break-off in the region in the last two years.

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