BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Last week, an iceberg the size of Delaware broke off from Antarctica, after a massive crack has been expanding for the past few months. Now, the mass of ice has started drifting towards the Weddell Sea, further widening the gap between it and the larger body of ice it broke from.
The iceberg, weighing around 1 trillion tons, is also known as A-68, and is slowly drifting away from the Larsen C ice shelf, the larger body it came off from. The gap between these two formations started widening several months ago, until it could no longer hold the iceberg.
How do scientists study the iceberg?
This ice chunk is one of the largest that had ever existed in Antarctica, measuring around 2,200 square miles. Even so, it’s hard to get a clear image of it, since the continent is almost most of the time covered in thick clouds, and the nights are long and dark.
However, scientists are using some advanced satellites which use infrared to study the iceberg, and can capture photos of it in any conditions. Aircraft photos should come by the end of this year, as the Antarctic summer will allow for a better study of it.
The ice chunk won’t pose any navigation problems
The US National Ice Center will be responsible will keeping the iceberg’s path into close observation. They expect it to go the same way as the ice chunks which broke from the Larsen B ice shelf. This means going north along the Antarctic coast, and then drifting northeast and entering the South Atlantic Ocean.
Experts think this massive chunk of ice shouldn’t put any problems for those who navigate in the area. They believe that, as the iceberg gets deeper into the sea, it will start breaking into smaller bits, so the huge mass of ice won’t put any ships in danger.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons