An iceberg roughly the size of Greater London has broken off from the Burnt Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
The split, which occurred near the Halley Research Station in the UK, was recorded between 7pm and 8pm yesterday.
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) moved the station 23 km in 2016 to what they called Chasm One when it began to widen.
It said the calving occurred a decade after scientists first detected the development of wide cracks in the ice.
The area of the new iceberg is about 1550 square kilometers and about 150 meters thick.
BAS glaciologists said the calving was not linked to climate change and was part of the ice shelf’s natural behaviour.
He said that the area of the ice shelf where the research station is located was not affected by the split.
Since 2017, crews have been stationed at the station in a limited capacity, only during the Antarctic summer, which runs between November and March.
There are currently 21 crew members working on the station to maintain power and facilities so that remote science experiments can continue through the winter.
They will continue to work until they are lifted early next month.
BAS director Professor Dame Jane Francis said: “Our glaciologists and operations teams are anticipating this event.
“The ice shelf is measured several times a day using an automated network of high precision GPS instruments around the station.
“They measure how the ice shelf is eroding and moving, and compare it to satellite images from ESA, NASA and the German satellite TerraSAR-X. All the data is sent back to Cambridge for analysis. , so we know what’s going on in the Antarctic too. Winter – when there’s no crew on the station, it’s dark 24 hours a day and the temperature drops below minus 50C (or -58F).”
Professor Dominic Hudson, a BAS glaciologist, added: “This calving event is expected and is part of the natural behavior of the Burnt Ice Shelf.
“It’s not linked to climate change. Our science and operational teams continue to monitor the ice shelf in real-time to make sure it’s safe, and to maintain the science delivery that we do at Halley. are.”
It comes after that. Another iceberg, called A74, calved in February 2021.. It has now moved off the Brent Ice Shelf into the Weddell Sea.
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