A giant Iceberg is set to break from the ice shelf, which scientists believe, could see an increase in the sea level of up to 10cms.
The Larsen C Ice Shelf, part of Antarctica, recently formed a rift in the Ice Shelf. The rift grew rapidly to 11 miles. This makes it the size of Delaware. Only 12 miles now holds the iceberg to the ice shelf.
Researchers flew over the gigantic crack in the ice and calculateResearchers 70 miles long, 90 metres wide, and about a third of a mile deep.
The Midas project has been studying the ice shelf for three years.
In a NASA press release, they stated, “The crack completely cuts through the Ice Shelf but it does not go all the way across it – once it does, it will produce an iceberg roughly the size of the state of Delaware.”
Professor Adrian Luckman, said the iceberg was hanging by a thread. When it splits from the ice shelf, the Larsen C Ice Shelf will lose more than 10% of its land mass. This will change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula and make the land mass less stable.
Professor Luckman, commented, “If it doesn’t go in the next few months, I’ll be amazed.
“There hasn’t been enough cloud-free Landsat images but we’ve managed to combine a pair of Esa Sentinel-1 radar images to notice this extension, and it’s so close to calving that I think it’s inevitable.”
In 2002 the collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf saw an area of 1,235 square miles of ice break apart forming thousands of icebergs in just over a month.
Professor Luckman, speaking to the BBC, said that when the iceberg breaks off it will be among the ten biggest ever recorded by scientists.