an iceberg of 1,550 square kilometerssurface equivalent to seven times the City of Buenos Airesbroke off on Sunday from Antarctica, a group of British scientists reported today.
“Although the region is threatened by global warming, the calving is not due to climate change“, said the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), a body that investigates the polar regions.
“The block of ice, measuring 1,550 square km, broke away from the ice pack between 7 and 8 p.m. on Sunday, after a strong tide widened a crack that already existed in the ice shelf“, the BAS specified.
According to the AFP news agency, another iceberg of a similar size had already broken off two years ago in the same area, called the Brunt ice shelf and on which the British Halley VI research base is located.
For a decade, large fissures in the ice shelves have increased, glaciologists observed.
In 2016, the BAS decided to move the Halley VI base to another location some 20 kilometers away for fear that it would drift on an iceberg.
“This calving was expected and is part of the natural behavior of the Brunt Ice Shelf. It is not linked to climate change,” explained glaciologist Dominic Hodgson. Nevertheless, the continent suffers the consequences of global warming.
“In February 2022, record temperatures were recorded in the area, and ice extent reached lowest ever recorded in 44 years of satellite observations“, indicated the annual report of the European program on climate change Copernicus.
In 2021, the melting of an iceberg, 4,000 km north of where it broke off in 2017, released more than 150 billion tons of nutrient-laced freshwater, worrying scientists about its impact on a fragile ecosystem.