Antarctica gives birth to world’s largest iceberg

  • 5 months   ago
Antarctica gives birth to world’s largest iceberg

REUTERS

A giant slab of ice bigger than the Spanish island of Majorca has sheared off from the frozen edge of Antarctica into the Weddell Sea, becoming the largest iceberg currently afloat in the world, the European Space Agency said on Wednesday.

The newly calved berg, designated A-76 by scientists, was spotted in recent satellite images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, the space agency said in a statement posted on its website with a photo of the enormous, oblong ice sheet.

Its surface area spans 4,320 square km (1,668 square miles) and measures 175 km (106 miles) long by 25 km (15 miles) wide.

By comparison, Spain's popular tourist island of Majorca in the Mediterranean occupies 3,640 square km (1,405 square miles). The U.S. state of Rhode Island is smaller still, with a land mass of just 2,678 square km (1,034 square miles).

A giant slab of ice bigger than the Spanish island of Majorca has sheared off from the frozen edge of Antarctica into the Weddell Sea, becoming the largest iceberg currently afloat in the world, the European Space Agency said on Wednesday.

 

The newly calved berg, designated A-76 by scientists, was spotted in recent satellite images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, the space agency said in a statement posted on its website with a photo of the enormous, oblong ice sheet.

Its surface area spans 4,320 square km (1,668 square miles) and measures 175 km (106 miles) long by 25 km (15 miles) wide.

By comparison, Spain's popular tourist island of Majorca in the Mediterranean occupies 3,640 square km (1,405 square miles). The U.S. state of Rhode Island is smaller still, with a land mass of just 2,678 square km (1,034 square miles).

Periodic calving off of large chunks of those shelves is part of a natural cycle. But some ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula have undergone rapid disintegration in recent years, a phenomenon scientists believe may be related to climate change, according to the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center.

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