With discovering a massive crack in the Antarctica ice shelf called Larsen C, scientists claim that it will soon give away. It will become one of the largest icebergs on Earth. In fact, it might be an iceberg twice the size of the smallest country in Europe.
UK experts say that the crack is now as WIDE as the Shard— a 95-storey skyscraper in Southwark, London, that forms part of the London Bridge Quarter development. Standing 309.6 meters (1,016 ft) high.
Larsen C is the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica. According to reports from Nature, since this year, its crack has moved at least 10 kilometers more. Currently, the crack is already 175 kilometers long. This is really bad news.
When the iceberg separates from the ice shelf, it will become one of the largest ever recorded. But it’s still difficult to predict when it will happen.
In order to understand the causes and implications of the rapid changes observed in the region, scientists from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) are involved in a long-term research program to monitor ice shelves.
According to scientists, it’s a matter of months before it reaches the ocean, releasing into the Weddel Sea. The bad news that it will become an iceberg with size twice bigger than the site of Luxemburg.
Scientists believe that the main reason for the crack in Larsen C is global warming.
According to glaciologist at the University of California, Eric Rignot, the Larsen C crack has upped to a factor of eight.
In a statement, Dr. Paul Holland, ice and ocean modeler at British Antarctic Survey (BAS), said:
“Iceberg calving is a normal part of the glacier life cycle, and there is every chance that [the rest of] Larsen C will remain stable and this ice will regrow.
“However, it is also possible that this iceberg calving will leave Larsen C in an unstable configuration. If that happens, further iceberg calving could cause a retreat of Larsen C.
“We won’t be able to tell whether Larsen C is unstable until the iceberg has calved and we are able to understand the behaviour of the remaining ice.
“The stability of ice shelves is important because they resist the flow of the grounded ice inland. After the collapse of Larsen B, its tributary glaciers accelerated, contributing to sea-level rise.”