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1 trillion ton iceberg breaks free from Antarctica (PHOTOS, VIDEOS) - RT Viral

1 trillion ton iceberg breaks free from Antarctica (PHOTOS, VIDEOS) - RT Viral

The iceberg is described as weighing 1 trillion tons (1.12 trillion USA tons). The glaciers behind the Larsen C Ice Shelf are not almost as large as those elsewhere around Antarctica, but it's possible (though not certain) that their shrinkage could eventually speed up because of this loss from the ice shelf.

It is not unusual for icebergs to break off from Antarctica, but what is unusual is the size of this particular iceberg, which broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf, Luckman noted. The final breakthrough was detected in images from NASA's satellite instruments, they said.

The team have already recorded two previous examples of an ice shelf completely collapsing in Antarctica with Larsen A disappearing 1995 and then the sudden disintegration of Larsen B in 2002.

"[The new image] suggests it has broken away.it also shows the iceberg hasn't moved away from the location it was in when it was still attached by this short ice bridge", she said. This non-floating ice would have an eventual impact on sea levels, but only at a modest rate, explained MIDAS.

"In the ensuing months and years, the ice shelf could either gradually regrow, or may suffer further calving events which may eventually lead to collapse - opinions in the scientific community are divided". For context, A68 is roughly twice the size of Rhode Island and weighs as much as 2.7 million Empire State Buildings thrown into a pile. Although many scientists believed that climate change has made the cracks grow quicker, the event is best described as a geographical event rather than a climate event.

Scientists don't yet know what will happen to the rest of the Larsen C ice shelf.

An iceberg is a large chunk of ice that breaks off from a snow-formed glacier or shelf, and floats in open water.

Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at the University of California, Irvine, said the breaking off of the iceberg "is part of a long-term major loss of the ice shelves in the peninsula, progressing southbound and resulting from climate warming".

"There have been some this big before", says Adrian Luckman, a glaciologist at Swansea University in the United Kingdom who leads a project to track changes in the ice shelf. However, as these ice shelves disintegrate, the land-locked glaciers they hold back may begin sliding into the sea.

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