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A 600-square-mile iceberg the size of two New York City breaks off from Antarctica’s ice shelf

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There have been major changes in one of the most closely observed ice shelves on Earth. On Sunday, a huge piece of Antarctica’s Blunt Ice Shelf — a chunk the size of two New York City — was released.

of British Antarctic Survey On Monday, it said the iceberg was 1,550 square kilometers, or just under 600 square miles.

Scientists have long predicted it will happen, but this is the second major breakaway from the ice shelf known as calving. occurs naturally in

The Blunt Ice Shelf lies across the Weddell Sea from another controversial ice shelf, the Larsen C Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula. last year, Larsen C Ice Shelf — This is roughly the size of New York City and was long considered stable — sunk in the sea.

It was the first time in human history that Antarctica had collapsed like this.it happened after atmospheric river Abnormally warm air was brought to the region, and many pointed to climate change as a possible contributing factor.

antarcticamapgeographicmarkers-2021.png
This map of Antarctica shows the location of various Antarctic ice shelves.

Agnieszka Gautier, National Snow and Ice Data Center


But according to BAS glaciologist Dominic Hodgson, the latest iceberg detachment from Blunt “has nothing to do with climate change.”

“This separation event is expected and is part of the natural behavior of the Blunt Ice Shelf,” Dodgson said.

A large crack on the Blunt shelf known as the Chasm has been dormant for decades, but in 2012 scientists discovered a major change. It’s been growing continuously since 2015, and by last December, researchers said it had “spread across the ice shelf.”

It is the first time in two years that an iceberg has detached from an ice shelf.

The final crack, known as A74, formed in February 2021. It’s been less than five years since a new crack was formed, known as the Halloween Crack. It is slightly smaller than the recent breakoff and has since flowed into the Weddell Sea.

The newest iceberg is named by the US National Ice Center. Researchers believe it likely follows the A74 path to the ocean.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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