Brunt Ice Shelf: Giant iceberg breaks away from Antarctic ice shelf | World News
A giant iceberg roughly the size of Greater London has broken off from the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
The separation occurred near the UK’s Halley research station, which was recorded between 7pm and 8pm yesterday.
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) relocated the station 23 kilometers inland from what it called Chasm One in 2016 after it began to expand.
It said the calving occurred a decade after scientists first detected the growth of large cracks in the ice.
The new ice sheet is estimated to have an area of about 1,550 square kilometers and be about 150 meters thick.
BAS glaciologists say calving is not linked to climate change and is part of the natural behavior of the ice shelf.
They said the area of the ice shelf where the research station is located was not affected by the separation.
Since 2017, staff have been deployed to the station in limited numbers, only during the Antarctic summer, which runs from November to March.
There are currently 21 employees at the station to maintain power supplies and facilities to keep science experiments running remotely throughout the winter.
They will continue to work until they are picked up early next month.
Professor Dame Jane Francis, director of the BAS, said: “Glacerologists and our executive team predicted the event.
“The ice shelf measurements are made several times a day using a network of high-precision GPS devices that automatically surround the station.
“These data measure the deformation and movement of the ice shelf, and are compared with satellite images from ESA, NASA and the German TerraSAR-X satellite. All data is sent back to Cambridge. for analysis, so we know what’s happening even in winter Antarctica – when there’s no staff at the station, it’s dark for 24 hours and the temperature drops below minus 50C (or -58F).”
Professor Dominic Hodgson, a BAS glaciologist, added: “This calving event was anticipated and is part of the natural behavior of the Brunt Ice Shelf.
“It has nothing to do with climate change. Our science and operations teams continue to monitor the ice shelf in real time to make sure it’s safe and to maintain the science delivery we undertake. at Halley.”
It comes later another iceberg, called A74, born in February 2021. It has now drifted off the Brunt Ice Shelf into the Weddell Sea.