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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Floated Away

Floated Away

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, July 12, 2017/Categories: natural history, space science, sustainability, environment, climate change

                              Larsen-C Icesheet Ice Sheet Crack Separation (credit: ESA Sentinel-1 satellite)

The massive crack in the Larsen-C icesheet has separated from the Antarctic Peninsula and an iceberg has now floated free. A chunk of ice the size of Delaware is now moving towardds the southern ocean as observed today by NASA's Suomi polar monitoring satellite. The crack in the ice sheet had been followed for several years by satellites from NASA, the European Space Agency, and by Project MIDAS in the UK. It's final separation occured today. The MIDAS team has calculated the resulting iceberg weighs in at one trillion tons and contains enough water to fill Lake Erie twice.


                            Larsen-C Iceberg Detachment Map  (credit: Project MIDAS)

While the iceberg had been expected to detach, what is now of critical interest will be the response of the ice volume positioned on the land above the remaining section of the icesheet. If it begins surging towards the ocean, this could represent another signal of a rapidly changing climate at the South Pole. As they say, stay tuned!



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