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The iceberg is twice as large as New York, it is about to break Antarctica



Katie Mettler, The Washington Post

February 25, 2019

Abyss and cracks in the Antarctic Brant ice shelf penetrate closer and closer to each other, and when these two finally occur, the ice plate is twice the size of New York will break off and leak into the sea

Two glacial disadvantages are about 2.5 miles away, and it may take some days or months for them to finally be seen. But when they do it, the iceberg formed at the sea of ​​Weddell will not be the largest in Antarctica. In fact, it may not even make the historic peak 20.

Its size ̵

1; it's not what makes it remarkable – is that the gap itself speaks of the natural process of the iceberg, the way of climate change can destabilize other glacial shelves. Brant, and how the movement could jeopardize the critical research that people have been there for over 60 years

Since 1956, British scientists have been studying geology, glaciology and atmosphere at the Halley experimental station located on ice ice. Shelf. The laboratory was destroyed and rebuilt many times over decades and got its latest form in 2012, when the research station Halley VI – a mobile, modular structure – gave its first scientific data.

In the same year, satellite monitoring showed that the large gap on the ice shelf – officially called the Abyss 1 – grew for the first time in more than three decades. According to the glaciologist, the abyss is described as a very large fracture, which markedly passes through the ice shelf to the sea.

If it continued to grow, Abyss 1 could ultimately drive the Halli VI station, so the British Antarctic Service decided to move its researchers to domestic countries and safely away from the abyss in the 2016 and 2017

in the next few months. To the East

For two years since then, Abyss 1 has come close to the Halloween crack, preparing scientists for the inevitability of icebergs, which could have greater implications for the stability of the entire ice shelf. NASA estimates that the mass could cover 1700 square kilometers (660 square miles), making it its largest iceberg, to escape the Brant ice shelf for more than 100 years.

is not Antarctic standards, "said Christopher Schumann, a researcher at NASA's Maryland University Baltimore University Center for Earth Systems Technology. "The impact on the territory is that these splits have recovered, and we are not sure why. The new rift (halloween cracks) formed what was considered a fairly stable ice shelf. "

Scientists have been studying only the shelf of glaciers for just over 100 years, so it's difficult to say if icebergs are eating at a higher level. An estimate here is on the Scottish ice shelf, says Elena Fricker, glaciologist at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

"I do not think you can call one climate change event," Fricker said. "This does not mean that Antarctica is not undergoing rapid changes in climate change, but it is in another region of Antarctica."

The iceberg is a normal natural process that helps maintain the clean land of Antarctica. Floating ice shelves border the coast Continuing to grow up and down when heavy snow falls. (You can see how the Shelf Ice Shelf grew up here.)

"Antarctica works like this," said Fricker. "Icebergs come and icebergs are coming."

Studies show that on the western side of the continent, where the water is warm Shi than those surrounding Brunt, glacial shelves disappear from below, scientists say that climate change has a clear role

Brant has no immediate threat to Halley VI or the people who inhabit her. Her current location is behind outside the predicted mass of icebergs, but a representative of the British Antarctic Service said that researchers are monitoring changes in the structural integrity of the ice shelf.

Part of this monitoring included the closure of operations at a research station during the last three Antarctic winters, which marked the moon of darkness and heavy snowfall. Under such conditions, it would be more dangerous to begin a rescue mission if cracks and breakthroughs would jeopardize the safety of researchers at Hall II.

Currently, employees are preparing to leave for the winter of 2019. Plans exist if glacial conditions change substantially before the staffing of the station ", said the British Antarctic Service The Washington Post. "The station is designed to move. The relocation rate is highly dependent on the behavior of the ice in the future.


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