Sci­en­tists say mas­sive ice­berg has bro­ken off in Antarc­tica

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - DANICA KIRKA LON­DON —

A vast ice­berg with twice the vol­ume of Lake Erie has bro­ken off from a key float­ing ice shelf in Antarc­tica, sci­en­tists said Wed­nes­day.

The ice­berg broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf, sci­en­tists at the Univer­sity of Swansea in Bri­tain said. The ice­berg is de­scribed as weigh­ing 1 tril­lion tonnes.

The process, known as calv­ing, oc­curred in the last few days, when a 5,800-square-kilo­me­tre (2,240-square-mile) sec­tion broke away.

“We have been an­tic­i­pat­ing this event for months, and have been sur­prised how long it took for the rift to break through the fi­nal few kilo­me­tres of ice,” said Adrian Luck­man of Swansea Univer­sity.

“We will con­tinue to mon­i­tor both the im­pact of this calv­ing event on the Larsen C Ice Shelf, and the fate of this huge ice­berg.”

It was a nat­u­ral event that wasn’t caused by man-made cli­mate change, said Swansea glaciol­o­gist Martin O’Leary.

Nonethe­less, “this puts the ice shelf in a very vul­ner­a­ble po­si­tion,” he said in a state­ment.

Sci­en­tists from the U.K.-based Antarc­tic project, MI­DAS, have been monitoring the rift in Larsen C for years.

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