“The iceberg reportedly spans roughly 632 square miles and contains 315 billion tons of ice. It is reportedly the largest piece of ice to have separated from the shelf in more than 100 years.”
The HILL Reports:
By Aris Folley – 10/02/19 01:21 PM EDT
An iceberg larger than the city of Los Angeles has reportedly broken off of Antarctica’s Amery Ice Shelf.
According to CNN, scientists at the Australian Antarctic Program, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography made the discovery last Thursday.
The iceberg reportedly spans roughly 632 square miles and contains 315 billion tons of ice. It is reportedly the largest piece of ice to have separated from the shelf in more than 100 years.
Scientists began tracking developments at the shelf roughly two decades ago, after signs of a major split began to emerge.
Scripps glaciologist Helen Amanda Fricker told CNN that scientists predicted a split sometime between 2010 and 2015 after a similar event took place on the ice shelf about five decades back.
“I am excited to see this calving event after all these years. We knew it would happen eventually, but just to keep us all on our toes, it is not exactly where we expected it to be,” Fricker said.
She also added that she doesn’t believe the event “is linked to climate change” but is rather a “part of the ice shelf’s normal cycle, where we see major calving events every 60-70 years.”
“This event is part of the ice shelf’s normal cycle though and, while there is much to be concerned about in Antarctica, there is no cause for alarm yet for this particular ice shelf,” Fricker said on Twitter.
Earlier this year, NASA announced that an iceberg the size of New York City would soon separate from Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf. The iceberg break could become one of the largest ever recorded from the shelf, NASA said at the time.