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An iceberg bigger than New York erupted in Antarctica



BAS’s Harley research station on the Brutt ice shelf was closed due to the Antarctic winter, and its 12 employees left earlier this month.

According to BAS, scientists have been expecting large icebergs to disintegrate for many years due to huge cracks formed on the 150-meter-thick ice floe shelf.

In November, a new fissure called the Northern Rift began to move towards another large fissure, adding one kilometer a day in January.

An aerial video taken in mid-February shows that the Northern Rift Valley stretches as far as the human eye can see.

BAS said the crack expanded to several hundred meters on Friday morning, releasing it from the rest of the ice shelf.

Jane Francis, director of BAS, said in a statement: “Over the years, our team at BAS has been preparing for the iceberg from Brunt Ice Shelf.”

She said they get updates from an automated network of high-precision GPS instruments and satellite imagery from the ice shelf every day.

“All the data is sent back to Cambridge for analysis, so even in the Antarctic winter, when there are no people on the station, we know what happened. It turned black and the temperature dropped below minus 50 degrees Celsius (or -58F). ,” she says.

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As a precaution, BAS moved the Halley research station further inland in 2016, and the staff has only worked there in the Antarctic summer since 2017 because it is difficult to evacuate in the dark winter.

Simon Garrod, Director of Operations at BAS, said in a statement: “This is a dynamic situation. Four years ago, we moved the Halley Research Station to the interior to ensure that the iceberg would not be taken away when it finally formed. . This is a wise decision.” “Our job now is to pay close attention to the situation and assess any potential impact of the current calving on the remaining ice shelves.”

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In 2017, the larger iceberg broke away from the Larsen C ice shelf and drifted into the sea at the end of last year.

Since 1956, there have been six Halley research stations on the Brunt ice shelf for atmospheric and space weather observations.

Ice shelves flow to the sea at a speed of about 2 kilometers each year, and icebergs break at irregular intervals.

BAS said: “The changes in Halley ice are natural processes and have nothing to do with calving events on the Larson C ice shelf, and there is no evidence that climate change has played an important role.”

Scientists are now watching the iceberg to see what will happen next.

Francis said in the statement: “In the next few weeks or months, the iceberg may move away; or it may run aground and remain near the Brute ice shelf.”


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