Warning! Iceberg Twice the Size of New York City About to Break Off Antarctica: NASA


NASA Scientists have made a warning that an iceberg is already beginning to break up from Antarctica’s Brunt ice shelf. This iceberg is nearly twice the size of New York City. It is in the process of cracking called as calving which is a normal part of the life cycle of ice shelves, but has been speeding up in the past several years due to global warming. 

Though, the crack dubbed Halloween crack which appeared along the Brunt ice shelf in October 2016. The massive crack is spreading across the ice and is now growing from an area known as the McDonald Ice Rumples. 

The rift which remained stable for around 35 years, has grown rapidly northward as fast as 4 kilometers per year. This northward expanding rift is coming within a few kilometers of the McDonald Ice Rumples and the Halloween crack. 

“The near-term future of the Brunt ice shelf likely depends on where the existing rifts merge relative to the McDonald Ice Rumples,” the NASA statement quoted Joe MacGregor, a glaciologist at the US Space Agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center.  

He said, “If they merge upstream (south) of the McDonald Ice Rumples, then it is possible that the ice shelf will be destabilised.” 

The disintegration will cause an estimated 1710 square km of giant iceberg to break from the shelf. Though, this iceberg will be the biggest one to crack since British explorer Ernest Shackleton started monitoring the ice shelf more than a century ago. 

The recent unpredictable changes in the ice have prompted safety concerns for people working at the research facilities there. However, the researchers also said, "It is not yet clear how the remaining ice shelf will respond following the break, posing an uncertain future for scientific infrastructure and a human presence on the shelf that was first established in 1955."   

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