Giant iceberg that broke off Antarctica and is now fixed, which is a potential threat



Huge Antarctic iceberg breaks off of the continent

An iceberg the size of Delaware has broken off Antarctica has a number of experts are concerned about the potential threat to passing ships, and the rising sea level

A year ago, a huge iceberg the size of Delaware broke off of the Larsen-C ice shelf in Antarctica, making the concern about how the event could impact shipping lanes and the sea level.

The 2,240-square-mile iceberg only traveled about 27 miles north-north-east before getting stuck behind a raised ice-cape, known as the Bawden ice rise. An ice rise is more pronounced, elevated section of an ice sheet.

Now, researchers who monitor satellite images have noticed that the iceberg is pounding against Bawden, thanks to wind and ocean currents.


Anna Hogg, an earth observation scientist at the University of Leeds in England, told Science News the Bawden ice shelft is similar to “scaffolding,” adding a measure of the stability of the Larsen C, which covers 17,100 square kilometers. If the plank were broken, she explained, it could collapse.

That would have major consequences for sea-level rise. However, that has not happened at this point.

Happy Birthday A68!

Project MIDAS (@MIDASOnIce) 9 July 2018

“Currents and winds carry the majority of the icebergs in the same direction,” glaciologist Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., told Science News.

That direction is the direction of South Georgia Island, where many Antarctic icebergs eventually thin out and melt away, he added.

Scientists will continue to monitor the situation.

Christopher Carbone is a reporter and news editor covering science and technology for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.

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