Trillion ton iceberg breaks off from Antarctica

| 12/07/2017 | 49 Comments

(CNS): One of the biggest icebergs ever recorded has broken away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, researchers who predicted the event have announced. The colossal iceberg weighs more than a trillion tonnes and is about 5,800 square kilometers — about the size of Delaware. Scientists from the UK’s Project MIDAS who have been observing the shelf said the split happened over the last few days.

In a release about the calving, researchers explained that this has reduced the Larsen Shelf by more than 12% and the “landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula changed forever”.

They warned the new configuration is potentially less stable than it was prior to the rift and Larsen C may eventually follow the example of its neighbour, Larsen B, which disintegrated some fifteen years ago after a rift-induced calving event in 1995.

Professor Adrian Luckman of Swansea University, the lead investigator of the MIDAS project, said, “We have been anticipating this event for months and have been surprised how long it took for the rift to break through the final few kilometres of ice. We will continue to monitor both the impact of this calving event on the Larsen C Ice Shelf and the fate of this huge iceberg.”

What will happen to the iceberg is difficult to predict, the scientists stated. It could remain in one piece but is more likely to break into fragments, with parts drifting north into warmer waters.

The Larsen C Ice Shelf, which has a thickness of between 200 and 600 metres, floats on the ocean at the edge of the Antarctic Peninsula, holding back the flow of glaciers that feed into it.

Researchers from the MIDAS Project have been monitoring the rift in Larsen C for many years, following the collapse of the Larsen A ice shelf in 1995 and the sudden break-up of the Larsen B shelf in 2002. They reported rapid advances of the rift in January, May and June, which increased its length to over 200 km and left the iceberg hanging on by a thread of ice just 4.5 km (2.8 miles) wide.

Dr Martin O’Leary, a glaciologist in the MIDAS  team, said it was a natural event and not necessarily linked to human-induced climate change but it makes the ice shelf very vulnerable. “This is the furthest back that the ice front has been in recorded history. We’re going to be watching very carefully for signs that the rest of the shelf is becoming unstable.”

This new iceberg will not immediately raise sea levels but the passage of the glaciers that flow off the land behind it will speed up and will have an eventual impact on sea levels.

Cayman News Service

Graphic by Project Midas

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Category: Science & Nature, Weather

Comments (49)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    OK…… so the Larsen A ice shelf disappeared 22 years ago in 1995 and Larsen B disintegrated and disappeared 15 years ago in 2002. No glaciers came rushing down into the sea but if Larson C disappears sea levels will raise because the glaciers will rush into the sea.
    That is if the writer of this article can get their act together because they do not seem to know the difference between Larsen A and Larsen B.
    At least they seem to know that ice shelves melting do not raise sea levels now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Additionally, no-one reports to inform the public and readers that there have been many instances of huge ice shelf’s breaking free from Antarctica throughout history which have been many more times the size of this recent Larsen shelf event. In the last 100 years some ice shelf’s that have broken free have been six (6) times the size of this recent event and this is nothing new in history. Based on NASA photos from space since the beginning of the space programs from the 1960s, Antarctica has actually increased in size enormously due to the melting of ice flowing down and freezing around the coast line cause by deep internal volcanic heat generated by the many volcanoes in the continent of Antarctica.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whew! My investments are safe. My investments are safe.My investments are safe.My investments are safe.My investments are safe…….Bwahawhaw

  2. Anonymous says:

    To many people with ostrich mentality. Besides, climate change does not exist if no signs exist in Cayman. Trouble is no one wants to check for any. Also, if there was any local data to support sea level rise here then this might have a very negative impact on investment, specifically in the real estate industry.

    One plus is that in 25 years we may have some new intersting dive sites in Grand Cayman and Mr. Dart and his Kimpton will be hosting all the divers.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s a lot of words just to show that you’re stupid.

    • Anonymous says:

      You do know that there are animals which do not walk the Earth anymore and, it is a direct result of the climate changing….

      • Anonymous says:


        OR, is it that they are now extinct because of human destruction?

        • Anonymous says:

          Regardless if the “climate changing” is human triggered or not it still effects the animals and their habitat, killing that which cannot adapt to the “climate change”. Thus climate change is a thing. Dummies.

      • Anonymous says:

        Some, like the Unicorn, just didn’t make it to the Ark before Noah closed the door.

  3. Thirsty Thursdays says:

    Imagine how much beer we can chill with that.

  4. Sharkey says:

    Global warming has caused another world disaster, keep believing and you would will make Gore richer .

  5. Anonymous says:

    Na today bobo

  6. Anonymous says:

    Such colossal bullshit and fear-mongering.

    The anthropogenic global-warming scam artists will one day be taken task for indoctrinating entire generations of children with this non-sense.

    I’m already telling my young ones to regard the information as they do Star Wars.
    Participate in the lessons, pass the tests, but understand it is all a bunch of crap and dont lose a wink of sleep over it.

    If you ever wondered how religion and its crippling effects are so widespread and entrenched – just use this movement as a comparison.

    What’s that? My comments enrage you and you are about to passionately rebuke me with undeniable truth and science??
    Bless…how very religious of otherwise Atheist / Agnostic person.

    Long live Gore the Messiah!!

    • Anonymous says:

      More trees less assholes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Speak for yourself.
        Mine blows 100 proof o2.

      • Anonymous says:

        85% of the air is created by the ocean. And decaying trees cause methane, one of the leading greenhouse gasses. Want another clue? Guess what, ice was once water. Its just amazing how much of a freaking pigeon people can be. Yeah! Run for your lives “ice can melt!!!” Pathetic

        • Anonymous says:

          LOL exactly!!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          “Want another clue? Guess what, ice was once water.”

          LMAO!! Amen brudda’…amen! Lol!!

        • Anonymous says:

          You sir are smart. The ice in the world was once water, now a solid, which it’s mass displaces water. When this ice melts the water level will not rise but just take back the space it used to before it tuned into ice. For example, take a glass of water, add a few cubes of ice. Fill the glass to the rim, to the point water almost over flows. Leave the ice to melt and tell me if the water level rose. Same concept….

          • Anonymous says:

            So the flooding from sea rising in south Florida, is that a joke? Or, wait a minute, maybe Florida is sinking into the ocean. Yeah, that must be it.

            • Anonymous says:

              Clue: The seas are inter connected globally. They cannot just rise in Florida, over time the water is distributed throughout the oceans. That’s like saying the level of water in my glass of water is a bit higher on the right side. Having lived in Florida for nearly 3 decades, I never seen the seas any higher. The seas are purported to raise by 1 millimeter per year. That means for the seas to rise 1 foot would take another 308 years. That not factoring any evaporation anywhere in the world, or cooling.

              The seas rising and flooding new York Day After Tomorrow style is pure liberal lunacy.

              Global warming despite the lunatic liberals, there is absolutely no evidence or proof that has been shown to have affected a single life. Global warmers prophets claims millions are already dying and this is utter BS. Lawsuits are already issued against rich countries for “reparations” due to global warming damaging poor third world countries.

              You countries are not suffering because of global warming, they are suffering because of your corrupt sack of shit leaders backed by liberal agendas.

              Global warming is being used to defraud right nations and civilians across the globe for thieving elitists political hacks across the globe. This global warming scam is Bernard Maddoff times a billion.

              CNS: Here is what those wacky liberals at ExxonMobile say about climate change: “The risk of climate change is clear and the risk warrants action. Increasing carbon emissions in the atmosphere are having a warming effect. There is a broad scientific and policy consensus that action must be taken to further quantify and assess the risks.”

              You can read the whole thing here:

              Since you like Google so much, try searching for this: “koch brothers climate change”. The views you think are your own have been paid for by some very rich people.

              • Anonymous says:

                “You countries are not suffering because of global warming, they are suffering because of your corrupt sack of shit leaders backed by liberal agendas.”
                So US is just like Grand Cayman in this regard.?.?
                Also, have you ever thrown on a tank a gone down to see coral bleaching. Or is that immune to Cayman too?

          • Anonymous says:

            Flat earth for water to level it must be flat?

          • Anonymous says:

            That is with the ice floating on top. It is different however if the ice is collected at the bottom of the cup which will make the water rise since the ice cube cannot disperse it’s own mass.

          • Anonymous says:

            This experiment only shows what ice in water will do. Ice on land will melt and run into water, and it will affect sea level. You could approximate that by putting a funnel in the top of your glass and adding ice up to the new rim, then see what happens when it melts.

      • Anonymous says:

        354 billion spent on climate research alone as 2012 pigeon. Keep forking your cash via a fraudulent global tax defraudment scheme called carbon taxes on ever form of energy known to man pigeon.

      • Anonymous says:

        Educate yourself and stop being a such a pigeon.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are yet another indication that the CI education system is failing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, the b.s. theory of AGW came about long after my days of CI education.

        In fact, back then it was something about holes in the ozone – if memory serves.
        I’ll have to dig up that GCSE (ahem, cough, cough!!) science textbook of mine to be sure.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ozone depletion was thought to be caused by CFCs in refrigerants and aerosols. The formulations were changed and the problem diminished. The same thing happened with acid rain: scientists believed it was caused by sulfur emissions, those were lowered, and it became far less of an issue. These are not good examples for “we should ignore the science.”

          • Anonymous says:

            Well, by your own observations and admissions – those were some very changeable facts of “science”, lol!

            I’ll just wait on the AGW b.s. theory to “diminish” and be “lowered” – ok Bub?

            Btw, your science lesson was completely unnecessary and quite douchey of you. However, I’m sure it gave you some sense of redemption in this unfortunate thread.

    • Anonymous says:

      4:08am, your first statement speaks to the fire and brimstone drivel that some pastors here spout every Sunday. You must be one of those hippochristians.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Trillion ton iceberg breaks loose, earth spins off its axis, plunges into sun….

  8. Anonymous says:

    I fortunately have a house in West Bay that is 11 feet above sea level.

  9. AlanP says:

    Google: “The Australian Donut Hole: A Proxy Lesson for Modern Humans”

    ……..”Instead of carbon dioxide emissions, Mr. Lu argues that ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other halocarbons are behind the loss of fresh water due to climate change. Antarctica has a large donut hole in its ozone layer over it because of this very effect. It also has to deal with the South Atlantic Anomaly where the earth’s magnetosphere is being weakened by the solar wind of the donut hole. Almost all of the water that Australia gets from the atmosphere is subjected to higher levels of solar EMF, from the solar wind, because of this donut hole….”
    ………”If the people in Oz think this science lesson is a joke they should know the salinity of the Southern Ocean is decreasing while the western ice sheet of Antarctica melts into this same ocean and speeds the process up. On Antarctica eastern coast the ice sheets are growing larger and maybe their best signal they are not totally screwed if they make changes now. The western shore of Antarctica affects Australian climate most. It is also affected by a weakness in the earth’s magnetosphere called the South Atlantic Anomaly. Because of excessive solar EMF, our species will be altered in Australia first, and will be mankind’s canary in the coal mine for this field effect…”

    “The Rest of World: Oz is Teaching Us a Lesson”

    Read the full article (blog in this case)

  10. Anonymous says:

    the end….man slowly destroying earth and himself along with it…?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Earth will be fine. Once we are gone, regeneration over a billion years will have it spanking new. Then some species will make it to the top once more….and hopefully learn from our disastrous stint.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Duct tape.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Looky ya bobo

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