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Fri Jan 20, 2017, 10:37 PM

Larsen ice crack continues to open up

Originally posted by WhiteTara in LBN. I wanted to share it here as it definitely applies to our group and because this is of great interest and importance to me.

The rift in the Larsen C Ice Shelf has grown a further 10km since 1 January.

If the rift propagates just 20km more, it will free a tabular berg one-quarter the size of Wales.

That would make it one of the biggest icebergs ever recorded, according to researchers at Swansea and Aberystwyth universities, and the British Antarctic Survey.

News of the lengthening crack in the 350m-thick floating ice shelf on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula comes from the EU’s Sentinel-1 satellite system.

Comprising two spacecraft, this orbiting capability can continuously monitor Larsen C no matter what the weather is doing because its radar sensors see through cloud.

Their data indicates the fissure now extends for some 195km. But just how long it will take before the 5,000 sq km block finally breaks free is anyone’s guess, says Swansea's Prof Adrian Luckman.

"The rift tip has just entered a new area of softer ice, which will slow its progress," he told BBC News.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38686626

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