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Science & Technology

Huge chunk of Antarctic ice shelf set to break

By T.K. Randall
January 7, 2017 · Comment icon 35 comments

The Antarctic ice shelves are slowly breaking up. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Jason Auch
A worryingly large rift in one of the Antarctic's biggest ice shelves has been continuing to grow.
In a recent report, British scientists have warned that it is very possibile that the ice will break away completely before the end of the year, producing a massive iceberg the size of Delaware.

The news is of particular concern because the ice in question acts as a sort of cork, preventing some of Antarctica's glaciers from flowing in to the ocean.

The crack has grown by over 17km during December alone and is now a total of 180km in length.
If the ice does break away then it could lead to a global sea level rise of up to 10 centimeters.

"When it calves, the Larsen C Ice Shelf will lose more than 10 per cent of its area to leave the ice front at its most retreated position ever recorded; this event will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula," the researchers said in a statement.

"We have previously shown that the new configuration will be less stable than it was prior to the rift, and that Larsen C may eventually follow the example of its neighbour Larsen B, which disintegrated in 2002 following a similar rift-induced calving event."

Source: Sydney Morning Herald | Comments (35)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #26 Posted by TheOtherSide1945 7 years ago
My prediction: Trump will declare war on the ice sheet. He will deploy the US military(Team Murica), who will try to nuke and miss. The nuke will hit the landmass and melt all of Antarctica, causing massive flooding everywhere, even more giant ice sheets to break off.  End prediction.  
Comment icon #27 Posted by Sundew 7 years ago
The oceans are so vast, I doubt it would even be measurable. 
Comment icon #28 Posted by seeder 7 years ago
Comment icon #29 Posted by seeder 7 years ago
Comment icon #30 Posted by taniwha 7 years ago
Is there no possible way to freeze this iceberg back onto Antarctica?
Comment icon #31 Posted by Myles 7 years ago
I don't think so.  
Comment icon #32 Posted by taniwha 7 years ago
I thought I saw something about freezing the arctic using turbines but I might be mistaken.  Anyway it would be a long shot.
Comment icon #33 Posted by Myles 7 years ago
I think it would be possible, but the cost is way too much for it to ever really happen.   After it fully breaks off, I wonder what the path of it will be.  
Comment icon #34 Posted by taniwha 7 years ago
Yeah, and I wonder how long it will last.
Comment icon #35 Posted by Unfortunately 7 years ago
I wonder about the impact this might have on the rest of Larsen C and it's surroundings. That's one hell of a big chunk of ice.  Full article:

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