An iceberg roughly the size of Greater London has broken off Brant Ice Shelf inside Antarctica According to the British Antarctic Survey on Sunday.
Scientists first discovered significant cracks in the ice shelf a decade ago, but two major cracks have appeared in the past two years. The BAS Halley Research Station is located on the Brant Ice Shelf and glaciologists say the research station is safe.
Icebergs are about 600 square miles or 1550 square kilometers. Researchers say this phenomenon was expected and not the result of climate change.
“This calving event was expected and is part of the natural behavior of the Brant Ice Shelf. It is not linked to climate change. Our science and operations teams are monitoring the ice shelf in real-time to ensure it is safe and to maintain the supply of science we receive at Halley. continues,” Professor Dominic Hodgson, a BAS glaciologist, said in a news release.
The calving comes amid record-low sea ice extent in Antarctica, where the summer.
“While Antarctic sea ice loss is always steep this time of year, it has been unusually rapid this year,” said scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Reported in early January“And at the end of December, Antarctic sea ice extent was at its lowest in the 45-year satellite record.”
Researchers at the data center say the low sea ice was caused by a large band of warmer-than-normal air temperatures, which rose to an average of 2 degrees Celsius in the Ross Sea in November and December. Stronger winds also accelerated the decline of sea ice, they said.
Recent data shows that sea ice hasn’t recovered since then, suggesting the continent could end summer with a new record in the books. Second year in a row.
Antarctica has experienced a roller-coaster of sea ice over the past few decades, swinging wildly. From record highs to record lows. Unlike the Arctic, where scientists say climate change is accelerating its effects, Antarctic sea ice extent is highly variable.
“There is a link between what’s happening in Antarctica and the general warming trend of the rest of the world, but it’s different from what we see in mountain glaciers and what we see in the Arctic,” said Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the university. Boulder, Colorado and chief scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, previously told CNN.
Satellite data that stretches back to 1978 shows that the region was still producing record-high sea ice as recently as 2014 and 2015. It then plunged suddenly in 2016 and has remained below average since then.
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