Climate change did not unleash giant Antarctic iceberg, scientists say

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A new iceberg appears off the coast of Antarctica. The as-yet-unnamed 600-square-mile iceberg separated from the Blunt Ice Shelf about 500 feet thick on Sunday, especially during high tide, known as spring tide. news release Published by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

BAS glaciologist Dominic Hodgson said in a news release that fragmentation was “part of the natural behavior of the Blunt Ice Shelf” and “has nothing to do with climate change.”

A drone video taken on Jan. 22 shows a massive crack that has split a 598-square-foot iceberg from Antarctica’s Blunt Ice Shelf. (Video: British Antarctic Survey by Storyful)

Satellite images captured the break, which occurred about a decade after satellite monitoring detected the growth of a previously dormant ice crack known as Chasm-1. A slightly smaller iceberg named A74 isolated from the same ice shelfA fissure is a crack in the ice shelf that extends all the way from the surface of the earth to the ocean below, and an ice shelf is a piece of floating ice that extends from a glacier that has formed on land.

Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder, said the iceberg was “a huge mass of ice weighing about 500 billion tons, but not the largest iceberg ever seen, comparable to Long. ” he wrote in an email. small island. “

This birthing event is not expected to affect BAS’ Halley research station, which was relocated further inland in 2016 as a precautionary measure after Chasm-1 began to grow.

However, “new ruptures mean that the base is within about 10 miles of the ocean, and new ruptures could occur in the next few years, forcing another costly relocation of the station,” Scambos said. is writing The new iceberg is expected to follow a similar path to A74 into the Weddell Sea and will be named by the US National Ice Center.

Unlike some previous icebergs and collapsed ice shelves, related to climate changeA BAS press release said the break was a “natural process” and that “there is no evidence that climate change played a significant role.”

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Rather, the crack began to widen due to “accumulated stress from the natural growth of the ice shelf,” says Hilmar Gudmundsson, a glaciology researcher at Northumbria University. 2019 BBC Stories.

Scambos likens the fragmentation of an iceberg to a chisel on a wooden plank. “In this case, the flea was a small island called ‘McDonald’s Icerise,'” Scumbos wrote. “Ice was pushed against this rocky seamount by ice flows, forced to break apart, and eventually detached from the floating ice shelf.”

“Sometimes these large iceberg breaks are as big and spectacular as small states. But they’re just part of how the Antarctic ice sheet works,” says Scambos. “Most of the time it has nothing to do with climate change.”

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