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Giant iceberg splits from Antarctic

July 12, 2017 5:13 pm

One of the biggest icebergs ever recorded has just broken away from Antarctica.

The giant block is estimated to cover an area of roughly 6,000 sq km; that’s about a quarter the size of Wales.

An US satellite observed the berg on Wednesday while passing over a region known as the Larsen C Ice Shelf.

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Scientists were expecting it. They’d been following the development of a large crack in Larsen’s ice for more than a decade.

The rift’s propagation had accelerated since 2014, making an imminent calving ever more likely.

The more than 200m-thick tabular berg will not move very far, very fast in the short term. But it will need to be monitored.

Currents and winds might eventually push it north of the Antarctic where it could become a hazard to shipping.

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