A tremendous piece of Antarctica half the size of Qatar is expected to break away. Named the Larsen C, if it breaks off, it’ll make it one of the world’s largest icebergs ever.
More Than Four London’s
Measuring at 6,000 square kilometers or 2,300 square miles, it is about the size of four London’s or more than seven New York City’s.
According to the European Space Agency (ESA), scientists said the Larsen C was about 13 km away from the edge of the ice, but now it’s only 5 km away.
It was named Larsen C because it is a portion of the greater Larsen Ice Shelf, which is on the Northeastern coast of Antarctica.
ESA has been monitoring the ice shelf through CryoSat, which is tasked with observing Antarctica and Greenland. CryoSat carries two ESA radars.
There’s a fear that Larsen C may pose a threat to ships if it breaks away. Ships grander than the Titanic would be in danger.
“We are not sure what will happen,” Anna Hogg, with the University of Leeds, told ESA. “It could, in fact, even calve in pieces or break up shortly after. Whole or in pieces, ocean currents could drag it north, even as far as the Falkland Islands. If so it could pose a hazard for ships in Drake Passage.”
Not The First
This isn’t the first iceberg to break off from the Larsen ice shelf. In the last 30 years, Larsen A and B also broke off. This is worrying as according to NASA, this is one of the quickest warming areas on Earth.
If Larsen C splits from Antarctica, this could lead to more problems and is part of a vicious cycle that leads to more vulnerability. The icebergs serve as anchors, if they break away the ice shelf would become less stable.
Scientists will be monitoring the area and make the necessary calculations to see how this will affect the Earth and water volumes.