Timelapse Shows How This Trillion-Ton Iceberg Broke off Antarctica

An iceberg twice the height of the Statue of Liberty broke away from Antarctica this year. Check out the timelapse that showcases all the data that was collected over 9 months time.

Timelapse Shows How This Trillion-Ton Iceberg Broke off Antarctica
Satellite image of a long crack in the Larsen C ice shelf, taken on March 8, 2017. NASA/USGS

There have been major changes in the world's environment over the past decade. Though some changes have been more dramatic than others, the changes to weather have been felt across the globe and even on both ends of the earth. The best examples of this can be seen in the dramatic changes in the environment in, Antarctica. Just this July,  a massive crevice in Antarctica's Larsen C Ice Shelf created the third largest iceberg in recorded history. 

Timelapse Shows How This Trillion-Ton Iceberg Broke off Antarctica
The 70-mile riff on Larsen C. Source: NASA/John Sonntag

The Rapid Changes in Our Environment 

This past July the world saw the creation of one of the largest icebergs in history. Starting as a large rift, the massive iceberg broke off the land mass of Antarctica, stunning scientists. Scientists have been monitoring the area, the Larsen C Ice Shelf, since its formation a few years ago. The rift was already massive being 300 feet wide, and over 70 miles long, and then it broke off Antarctica this year.

Timelapse Shows How This Trillion-Ton Iceberg Broke off Antarctica
Source: NASA/John Sonntag

The iceberg weighed about 1 trillion metric tonnes and could easily fill Lake Erie like Grandma pouring out a bowl of soup. The surface area of the iceberg would easily match in size to the state of Delaware, coming in at an impressive 2,240 sq.mi. Even more impressive, the iceberg was twice the height of the Statue of Liberty clocking in 190m of height.

Architecture

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The calved land mass was approximately 12% of the Arctic shelf. Luckman states, "The calving of this iceberg leaves the Larsen C Ice Shelf reduced in area by more than 12%, and the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula changed forever." Adrian continues in saying "ocean currents could drag it north, even as far as the Falkland Islands, which lie more than 1,000 miles away from Antarctica."

Breaking Over Time

Using a polar satellite called Sentinel-1, glaciologist Adrian Luckman has been closely watching the progress of the glacier. This past week, Adrian posted the timelapse below. The animation showcases all the data that was collected over 9 months time, compressed into one single GIF.

Timelapse Shows How This Trillion-Ton Iceberg Broke off Antarctica

No matter where the iceberg ends ups, it is sure to end up in warmer waters and will eventually melt away. Good news is that the massive land mass will not contribute to the rising ocean because the ice was already floating before it calved away.

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