February 1, 2023

Iceberg roughly the size of London breaks off in Antarctica

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An iceberg broke off near Greater London. Burnt Ice Shelf I Antarctica According to the British Antarctic Survey on Sunday.

Scientists first discovered significant cracks in the ice shelf a decade ago, but two major ruptures have occurred in the past two years. The BAS Halley research station is located on the Brent Ice Shelf and glaciologists say the research station is safe.

The iceberg covers about 600 square miles or 1550 square kilometers. Researchers say this phenomenon was expected and not a result of climate change.

“This calving event is expected and is part of the natural behavior of the Burnt Ice Shelf. It has nothing to do with climate change. Our science and operational teams continue to monitor the ice shelf in real time to ensure To make sure it’s safe, and to maintain the delivery of the science we do at Halley,” Professor Dominic Hodgson, a BAS glaciologist, said in a news release.

The calving comes amid record low sea ice extent in Antarctica, where summer occurs.

“While Antarctic sea ice extent loss is always high at this time of year, it has been unusually rapid this year,” say scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Reported in early January.“And in late December, Antarctic sea ice extent was the lowest in the 45-year satellite record.”

Researchers at the data center say the low sea ice is partly due to a large band of warmer-than-normal air temperatures, which were 2 degrees Celsius above average in the Ross Sea in November and December. Stronger winds have also accelerated the loss of sea ice, they reported.

Recent data shows that sea ice has not recovered since then, suggesting the continent could end summer with a new record on the books. For the second year in a row.

Antarctica has experienced a rollercoaster of sea ice extent over the past two decades, swinging wildly. From record highs to record lows. Unlike the Arctic, where scientists say climate change is accelerating its effects, Antarctica’s sea ice extent is highly variable.

“There is a link between what’s happening in Antarctica and the general warming trend in the rest of the world, but it’s different from what we see in mountain glaciers and what we see in the Arctic,” Ted Scambos, Univ. A glaciologist from Boulder, Colorado and lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center previously told CNN.

Satellite data that stretches back to 1978 shows that the region was still producing record high sea ice in 2014 and 2015. Then it plunged suddenly in 2016 and has remained below average since then.

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