On January 22, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) reported that an iceberg the size of Greater London — since named A-81 — had just broken away from the Brunt Barrier in Antarctica. This was no surprise to scientists who had been following the evolution of gigantic cracks in the platform for a long time.
Since then, satellite images have confirmed the calvingcalving and the size of the iceberg. A huge block of about 1,550 square kilometers. A large iceberg surrounded by many smaller icebergs.
The images indicate that the front of the Brunt Barrier has retreated more than 20 kilometers from its position in the early 1970s. Halley Research Station (BAS), which has been moved further inland terresterres in 2016, is now about 15 kilometers from the new front of the ice shelf.
Satellite images also show that iceberg A-81 is now drifting south with a movementmovement clockwise around the gyregyre the Weddell.
The A-74 iceberg which broke away in February 2021 had also gone with the flow. It is now more than 500 kilometers away.
A giant iceberg broke off in Antarctica
Article of NATHALIE MAYERNATHALIE MAYER published on 01/25/2023
Brunt’s barrier is a ice barrierice barrier located in Antarctica. A huge platform of ice that floats on the Weddell Sea. And thanks to a great tidetide, a huge iceberg has just broken free. Now named A-81 by the U.S. National Ice Centerit is even bigger than A74, the one that made people talk about it in the region about two years ago.
Even if we will have to wait for better images resolutionresolution to determine its exact size, observers estimate it at some 1,550 square kilometers, twice the size of New York City.
Remember that calving, understand, the production of an iceberg by a glacier, remains a completely natural event.
According to glaciologists, this has no connection with global warming. It’s caused by a crack known as Chasm-1 that eventually spread through the pack icepack ice after being followed by researchers for more than 10 years.
Researchers stationed at the nearby Halley base ensure that their station is not affected.
Glociologists expect it to follow roughly the same path as A74, in the coastal current AntarcticAntarctic.
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