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Giant iceberg breaks off Antarctica

International News from World: In more than 50 years, the Amery Ice Shelf in Antarctica has just produced its largest iceberg. The calved block includes an area of 1,636 sq km-a bit lower than the island of Skye in Scotland-and is called D28.

The berg’s scale implies it will need to be controlled and tracked as it might pose a transport danger in the future. Amery has not calved a larger iceberg since the early 1960s. That was an area of 9,000 square kilometers.

Amery is Antarctica’s third-biggest ice shelf and is the main drainage channel for the continent’s south. The shelf is the floating extension of a number of glaciers that flow into the sea from the land. Losing bergs to the ocean is how these ice streams keep balance, balancing upstream snow input.

So, researchers realized the coming of this calving case. What is interesting is that a lot of attention was effectively focused in the region just east of the segment that is now broken off.

This is a segment of Amery that has become affectionately known as “Loose Tooth” due to its satellite image similarity to a tiny child’s dentition. The same rift system had been shared by both ice fields.

 

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