Large iceberg breaks off Antarctic’s Pine Island Glacier

Large iceberg breaks off Antarctic’s Pine Island Glacier

A large piece of ice around the size of the island of Manhattan recently cracked and broke off Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier, a footage captured by a NASA satellite revealed.

The breaking off the 2-mile-long iceberg from the Pine Island Glacier, which is one of the biggest glaciers in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, was captured by the Landsat 8 satellite.

Around a couple of years ago, an iceberg ten times the size of the newly separated iceberg broke off in the same glacier. Some scientists are of the view that the recent break could be an “aftershock” of that former event which had destabilized the area.

The Pine Island Glacier’s last major iceberg break occurred in July 2015, when a nearly 225-square-meter iceberg separated from the island.

Ian Howat, a glaciologist at Ohio State University (OSU), said, “[This phenomenon] fits into the larger picture of basal crevasses in the center of the ice shelf being eroded by warm ocean water, causing the ice shelf to break from the inside out.”

Meanwhile, a research group called the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is monitoring a 110-mile crack in the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula. In a new statement, BAS warned that the crack has grown by nearly 20 miles since December 2016, and it will likely to create an enormous iceberg larger than Rhode Island.


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