Only 3 miles of ice tether 2,300-square-mile iceberg to Antarctica, but not for long

Only 3 miles of ice tether 2,300-square-mile...
Posted at 1:36 PM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 13:46:05-04

Lump Hamilton, Butler, Clermont, Warren and Brown counties together and you'd still be about 50 square miles shy of the iceberg that's about to break off of Antarctica.

Measuring about 2,300 square miles, Larsen C will be among the largest icebergs ever recorded, CNN reports.

Scientists have been tracking a growing rift in the Larsen Ice Sheet since 2014. In early June, the rift was 8 miles from reaching the edge and splitting Larsen C off from the rest of the sheet. The giant, soon-to-be iceberg is now clinging onto the Antarctic mainland by just 3 miles of ice, according to the European Space Agency.

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"We are not sure what will happen," Anna Hogg, with the University of Leeds, told the European Space Agency. "It could, in fact, even calve in pieces or break up shortly after. Whole or in pieces, ocean currents could drag it north, even as far as the Falkland Islands. If so it could pose a hazard for ships in Drake Passage.”

In the past 30 years, Larsen A and Larsen B already cleaved off the ice shelf, CNN reports. NASA said Larsen C’s split will fuel the vicious cycle as formerly shielded ice becomes more vulnerable to ocean water and rising temperatures.