Ice

The time has come: huge iceberg broken down in Antarctica

At Antarctica, an iceberg of 5800 square kilometers has been demolished from one of the largest ice plateaus in the world. Researchers fear that the entire plateau is now falling apart.

© NASA / John Sonntag

The 300-meter-thick ice plateau Larsen C in western Antarctica has broken through. What everyone feared happened between Monday, July 10 and Wednesday, July 12.

An iceberg the size of Gelderland is now floating around in the ice sea.

Does the entire album collapse?

Because the Larsen C ice plateau is already floating in the sea, it has no direct consequences for sea level. However, an imbalance may have arisen in the huge plateau, making it unstable. That is why researchers fear that Larsen C will fall apart.

That would mean that sea levels would rise to 10 centimeters, which would have huge consequences for many Pacific islands, which are already noticing the effects of rising water levels in recent decades.

Breakage was to be expected

The researchers have been watching the crack in Larsen C for a few years. Satellite photos taken at the end of May 2017 showed that the crack had become 18 kilometers longer and was only attached to the plateau over an area of ​​13 kilometers of ice. The break was therefore no surprise.

One of the most recent satellite images of Larsen C shows how the crack in the ice shelf has grown.

© MIDAS project

In February, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) published a video in which you can see the growing crack in the Larsen C ice shelf.

Video: Large Iceberg Breaking near Ilulissat (February 2020).

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