An iceberg which is twice as big as New York City may soon break free from an Antarctic ice shelf after a rift which appeared within the shelf began to grow at an accelerated rate and is now being monitored by researchers.
The rift was first spotted along the Brunt ice shelf back in October 2016. Since then the crack has begun to grow exponentially, and it will open soon another fissure which has been steadily increasing the recent years. If the two rifts will find each other, it is likely that an enormous iceberg will be born and measure at least 660 square miles.
The phenomenon, known as calving, takes place naturally but it appears to be a strange occurrence in an area which is otherwise stable. It is thought that the situation could get even worse in the future, as global temperatures continue to grow.
Huge Iceberg Might Break Off Antarctica
The future iceberg is shaping up to be quite large, but it is small in comparison to other recent breakaways. Back in July 2017 one of the most massive icebergs that were ever recorded measured an impressive 2,200 square miles, on par with twice the size of the US state of Delaware.
Recent studies have also shown that ice shelves across the entire Antarctic region are melting at an accelerated rate. A team of researchers is currently studying the Thwaites Glacier, which is as big as 66% of Manhattan. The glacier has started to melt rapidly due to climate change, and a giant void has appeared at its base. It is believed that space was once filled with 14 billion tons of ice. The team thinks that most of the ice may have disappeared in the last three years.
The impact on the global sea level could be catastrophic if the huge iceberg breaks off Antarctica. If more icebergs start to float away from cold regions and melt it is likely that the majority of coastal areas from all over the world may be flooded in the future.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.