A piece weighing 1 trillion tons broke away from Antarctica

The photo above cannot be said, but the errors are herenot. One of the largest icebergs ever recorded, the size of half the area of ​​the island of Jamaica, has just broken away from Antarctica. The reason for this was the crack that appeared in the Larsen C ice shelf. A distinct fault in the glacier appeared in 2010 and since then has begun to grow rapidly. In the period from July 10 to 12 this year, the separation process was completed. As a result, one of the largest icebergs recorded by science, whose area is 5800 square kilometers, was born.

“Hot news! A giant iceberg separated from the Larsen shelf. Details will come soon, ”Martin Oliri, a geologist at the University of Swansea, announced on his Twitter page early this morning and showed several satellite images of MODIS.

NASA MODIS near-Earth probe one of the firsttook a photograph of a giant piece of ice breaking away from Antarctica. However, judging by the image above, as well as the image provided by glacier Adrian Luckman (see below) from the same University in Swansea, it seems that the breakaway piece remains still.

According to available satellite imagery andThe July 6 Antarctic Report Twitter feed may be the third largest iceberg ever to break away. According to Luckman and Oliri, "the mass of one of the largest icebergs, which is most likely to be labeled A68, can be approximately 1 trillion tons."

“This iceberg accounts for 12 percent of the total area of ​​the Larser C ice shelf. The appearance of the Antarctic Peninsula has changed forever,” the scientists said.

A few days before he broke away fromShelf, University of Edinburgh geologist Noel Gourmelen and his colleagues estimated that the thickness of the iceberg, which will now drift across the Southern Glacial Ocean, is 190 meters and consists of about 1,155 cubic kilometers of frozen water. This is enough to fill the top of the ice with 460 million Olympic pools, or just about the entire American Lake Michigan - one of the largest natural freshwater pools in the world.

Lake Michigan for comparison

Scientists still cannot accurately predict what will happen next, since icebergs of this size do not often crack.

“He can, for example, continue furthersplit into pieces. Entirely or in parts, it can be taken up by ocean currents to the north and carried away to the Falkland Islands, ”says Anna Hogg, ice researcher at the University of Leeds.

By the way, these islands are located more than 1600 kilometers from the Larsen shelf.

The illustration below shows the movement paths of hundreds of different icebergs between 1999 and 2010.

The Larsen ice shelf itself is one ofThe largest ice shelves of the Antarctic continent. According to representatives of the MIDAS project, "most of the shelf consists of snow falling over the past few hundred years, but the inner layers of the glacier are much older." In early June, scientists of this project reported receiving satellite imagery, which shows a rift. It has a northern direction and goes towards the Southern Ocean.

According to some researchers, if (orwhen) the entire Larsen C shelf and the accompanying glaciers melt, then sea level may rise by 10 centimeters. However, experts on the study of the Antarctic say that such an event is unlikely, and in general they call the appearance of icebergs, even of this size, albeit an impressive, but quite natural and natural process.

“The emergence of giant icebergs like this,is the normal behavior of a healthy ice crust that has formed for decades, centuries, or even over a millennium, ”comments Helen Amanda Fricker, an ice researcher at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

“What seems unbelievable is actually common practice for this part of Antarctica.”

Nevertheless, Fricker notes that such natural processes are noticeably accelerated by global climatic changes, mainly caused by human activities.

“In general, there is an acceleration in the processes of changes in the Arctic strata and loss of mass in key areas of the Antarctic. Continuation of this mass loss will sooner or later lead to irreplaceable events. ”