Giant iceberg close to separating from Antarctic ice shelf

DW – June 2, 2017

A piece of ice the size of the US state of Delaware is close to breaking off from one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves. The break could destabilize the Larsen C ice shelf.

A crack in the Larson C ice shelf reached within 8 miles (13 kilometers) of the ocean after expanding 11 miles (17 kilometers) in just the last week,  scientists with Project MIDAS at the University of Swansea in Britain said on Thursday.

Scientist studying the region expect the 1,900-square-mile (5,000-square-kilometer) chunk of ice to separate from the Larson C ice shelf within weeks. An ice shelf is a sheet of ice floating over the ocean.

If and when it does, the Larcon C ice shelf would be 10 percent smaller, reducing it to the smallest size ever recorded.

“The rift in Larsen C is likely to lead to one of the largest icebergs ever recorded,” said Swansea University in Wales.