The MIDAS project researchers have been monitoring the region known as Larsen C since 2014, the year in which they detected the acceleration of the ice block's detachment, which is estimated to have started at least a decade ago.
It is expected that this detachment will not affect global sea level because the block was already afloat in the ocean, although some scientists fear that it could accelerate the destabilization of the ice shelf, according to what Infobae collects.
The iceberg, which is expected to be called A68, weighs more than a trillion tons, according to MIDAS, which reported in its statement that the rupture - estimated between July 10 and 12 - was detected by the Aqua MODIS satellite instrument. from NASA.
In total, some 5,800 square kilometers of ice separated from the platform, according to satellite information.
“We have been anticipating this event for months. We are surprised by how long it took for the crack to cause the rupture, ”said Professor Adrian Luckman, the group's lead researcher.
This iceberg then becomes one of the largest in Antarctica: 190 meters thick, 1,155 cubic kilometers of ice and could fill 462 million Olympic swimming pools.
Luckman also said that it is difficult to predict the near future of the iceberg, which could remain in one piece, although "it is more likely to break into fragments."
"Some of the ice can remain in the area for decades, while parts of the iceberg can drift north into warmer waters," he explained.
The detachment has reduced the size of Larsen C by around 12% and scientists warn that this phenomenon will forever transform the landscape of this Antarctic peninsula.
Ice is a part of the Antarctic Peninsula that has warmed very rapidly in recent decades, although not all scientists attribute this directly to climate change.
However, the MIDAS project researchers warn that from now on the Antarctic shelf remains in a very vulnerable situation.
The Epoch Times