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Yet Another Giant Iceberg Has Broken Free From Antarctica

JCET Researcher consulted for wide media coverage

October 6, 2017 8:44 AM
Satellite images taken recently show a new 100-square-mile iceberg emerging from Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. The calving event did not come as a complete surprise, but it’s a troubling sign with regards to future sea level rise.

Pine Island Glacier (PIG) is the fastest melting glacier in Antarctica—one that’s responsible for a quarter of the frozen continent’s ice loss, a whopping 45 billion tons of ice each year. Satellite images taken from September 23 to 24 show an open-water gap emerging between the ice shelf and the iceberg, which is about four times the size of Manhattan (103 square miles or 267 square km).

The new iceberg appears to be quite unstable, producing a batch of smaller icebergs as it slowly drifts out to sea. The new berg is not nearly as big as the one produced by the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf a few months ago—an enormous chunk of ice that measures about 2,240 square miles (5,800 square km).

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