A 2,300 square mile iceberg has calved off the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula. That is roughly the size of the state of Delaware. Glaciologist Adrian Luckman spoke with NPR about the event stating:
“There have been some this big before. This is certainly in the Top 10, maybe possibly in the Top 5.”
Scientists have had an eye on this breakup since 2014 when the crack on the Larsen C ice shelf was first observed. The crack grew rapidly and by the end of last week it was only holding onto the main shelf by a 3-mile sliver of ice.
Anna Hogg, a researcher with the United Kingdom’s Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds, explained that it will not lead to sea level change because this chunk of ice was already floating on water when it broke off:
“This is the same as if you’ve got an ice cube in your gin and tonic. When the ice cube melts, it doesn’t raise the volume of water in that glass.”