One of the largest icebergs weighing more than one trillion tons has broken off from western Antarctica, according to a UK-based research team.
According to Project MIDAS, the said ice sheet named A68 started breaking off from Larsen C between July 10-12 and has a size twice of the volume of Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes in the United States.
Part of Antarctica’s Larsen C ice breaks off between Monday and Wednesday. Photo by Business Insider
“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 kilometers of ice,” Professor Adrian Luckman of Swansea University, lead investigator of the MIDAS project said in a statement.
He told CNN the team believes the iceberg has remained intact, “This is part of the normal behavior of ice shelves. What makes this unusual is the size.”
A68 measures 2,200 square miles Unfortunately, there are no public websites allowing a live view of the iceberg or ice shelf.
Meanwhile, the MIDAS project researchers team have not yet found “any link to human-induced climate change,” according to Swansea University glaciologist Martin O’Leary.
“We have no evidence to link this directly to climate change, and no reason to believe that it would not have happened without the extra warming that human activity has caused. But the ice shelf is now at its most retreated position ever recorded and regional warming may have played a part in that,” Luckman confirmed.
With the iceberg now floating independently, the area of Larsen C has been reduced by more than 12%, forever changing the landscape of the peninsula, according to experts.