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A vast iceberg, expected to be one of the biggest ever recorded, with an area almost the size of Prince Edward Island, is poised to break off Antarctica.
A rift, slowly developing across the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula in recent years, expanded abruptly last month, growing by about 18 kilometres. It is now more than 80 kilometres long with just 20 kilometres left before it snaps, scientists said.
The iceberg "will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula" and could herald a wider break-up of the Larsen C ice shelf, the statement said.
COMBO PHOTO- Aerial photographs taken in February and March 2002 of parts of the Larsen B shelf in the Antarctic show different aspects of the final stages of the collapse that has reignited fears of global warming and its catastrophic effects. The pictures show (clockwise from top left) the shelf breaking up near Foca Nunatak, a rift in the ice sheet near Cape Desengano, a cascade of water from melting ice nearly 30 meters high along the front of the shelf, and the new front edge of the shelf breaking up near Cape Foyn. About 500 billion tons of ice of the Larsen B shelf have disintegrated over the last month, the result of 50 years of sharp temperature rises on the Antarctic Peninsula unmatched elsewhere on the ice continent and in the rest of the world.
Earlier this week a 70,000-hectare iceberg broke free of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier and floated adrift in the Southern Ocean.
NASA scientists foretold the iceberg’s formation in 2011 when they noticed an 18-mile crack spreading across the surface of the Pine Island Glacier (PIG). It wasn’t until July of this year, however, that the crack made it all the way across the New York City-sized iceberg. Due to freezing winter temperatures in Antarctica, however, the iceberg never left the region until just a few days ago.
originally posted by: Skywatcher2011
Now if this isn't saying anything more that there could be climate change doing this or the pole shift could be the culprit. Either way if this does break off what sort of effects will it have on the Earth climate or imbalances in ocean temperatures or salinity.