This gigantic iceberg is about to enter the open sea and we have to watch it very closely

This gigantic iceberg is about to enter the open sea and we have to watch it very closely

The largest iceberg ever recorded in the modern era was the 11,000 square kilometer block called B15 , which left the Ross Ice Shelf in 2000. One of its last remnants, now measuring "only" 200 square kilometers, is in the middle on the way to the South Sandwich Islands, east of South Georgia.

Now we have to keep a close watch on another colossus heading towards the open sea: A68, a colossus of about 6,000 square kilometers that broke free from Antarctica in 2017 , has drifted so far north that it is now at the edge of the ice. perennial marine of the continent. The iceberg, currently at 63 degrees south latitude, follows a very predictable course.

Probability of turning into cubes

The iceberg is one of the largest on record and its future progress is difficult to predict. It may remain in one piece, but is more likely to break into fragments .

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Objects of this size have to be constantly monitored because they pose a risk to navigation, but it is unlikely that they will retain their consistency for long, as Adrian Luckman from the University of Swansea explains :

With a thickness-to-length ratio similar to five sheets of A4, I’m amazed that the ocean waves didn’t make A68 ice cubes. If it survives by a single piece when it moves past the edge of the sea ice, I will be very surprised.

The iceberg weighs more than a trillion tons (1,000,000,000,000 metric tons), but it was already floating before it broke apart, so it has no immediate impact on sea level. The ‘calving’ of this iceberg leaves the Larsen C ice shelf reduced in area by more than 12%, and the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula has changed forever.