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Mon Jan 9, 2017, 01:32 PM

A 5,000 sq km glacier is about to break off Antarctica

Source: Wired

An iceberg estimated to be 5,000 sq km in size is about to break free from Antarctica after a deep rift rapidly developed last month.

A team of researchers from the universities of Swansea and Aberystwyth has been closely watching and investigating the 350 metre-thick Larsen C ice shelf in West Antarctica as part of Project MIDAS, using imagery from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 radar satellite, data gathered on-site and computer simulations. The team issued a statement to its website over the weekend, warning of the impending break: “After a few months of steady, incremental advance since the last event, the rift grew suddenly by a further 18km during the second half of December 2016. Only a final 20km of ice now connects an iceberg one quarter the size of Wales to its parent ice shelf.”

Footage captured by Nasa’s IceBridge mission in December showed a 70-mile-long, 300-foot-wide rift in Larsen C that cut to the base of the ice shelf. When the glacier inevitably breaks away from Larsen C as is expected, the shelf will lose an estimated 10 per cent of its mass - forming a glacier around a quarter the size of Wales. “This event will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula,” write the Project MIDAS researchers. “We have previously shown that the new configuration will be less stable than it was prior to the rift, and that Larsen C may eventually follow the example of its neighbour Larsen B, which disintegrated in 2002 following a similar rift-induced calving event.”

Read more: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/a-5000-sq-km-glacier-is-about-to-break-off-antarctica

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Reply A 5,000 sq km glacier is about to break off Antarctica (Original post)
Calista241 Jan 2017 OP
heaven05 Jan 2017 #1
Name removed Jan 2017 #2

Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Mon Jan 9, 2017, 02:25 PM

1. I feel for the animals

 

affected......

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