In Antarctica, a giant iceberg was formed after being detached from the continent
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 10:12
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 10:17
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PARIS | An iceberg of a thousand billion tons, one of the biggest ever seen, has only just been formed after being separated from the Antarctic continent, announced Wednesday, researchers from the University of Swansea.
“The calving (separation) occurred between Monday and Wednesday,” explain the scientists, who watched the evolution of this block of ice of 5800 km2, a size comparable to that of l’île-du-Prince-Édouard.
Thick 350 m, iceberg, which will probably be called “A68”, will have no impact on the level of the oceans, as it floated on the water.
But it was part of a gigantic ice barrier, named “Larsen C”, which, to the west of the Antarctic retains glaciers able, themselves, to save 10 cm of the seas of the world, if they eventually find themselves at term exposed to the ocean, according to the researchers.
Deprived of this enormous pan of ice, Larsen C is potentially “less stable”, they stress.
In the end, Larsen C could well follow the example of Larsen B, a other barrier of ice that had disintegrated spectacularly in 2002 at the end of the same process, seven years after the calving of an iceberg.
Larsen C had been cracked for years by a giant crevasse, which was still lying in a spectacular manner these last few months, earning up to 18 km during the single month of December. In early July, the future iceberg, was no longer connected to the continent of Antarctica is only about five kilometres.
The formation of icebergs is a natural process, that the warming of the air as well as oceans, however, helps to accelerate, emphasize the scientists. Antarctica is one of the regions of the world that heat up most quickly.