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Posted: June 02, 2017

Large iceberg close to splitting from Antarctic shelf


Large iceberg close to splitting from Antarctic shelf
A rift across the Larsen C Ice Shelf is shown during an airborne survey.

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Scientists said a crack in an Antarctic ice shelf soon will create one of the largest icebergs ever recorded, CNN reported.

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In the last six days, the break in the Larsen C Ice Shelf has grown by 10.5 miles and is now 8 miles from the edge of the ice, Reuters reported.

“The rift tip appears to have turned significantly toward the ice front, indicating that the time of calving (breaking away) is probably very close," Adrian Luckman, lead researcher in UK-based research team Project MIDAS, said in a statement.

“I would expect it to occur quite rapidly, within days or weeks," Dan McGrath, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey who has studied the ice sheet extensively, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The 1,930-square mile chunk of ice is part of the fourth largest shelf in Antarctica. When it breaks off, it will shrink the land mass of Larsen C by 10 percent, Reuters reported.

“If Larsen C were to collapse, it would be concerning for its own reasons, but the contribution to global sea level rise would be very small, something in the centimeters," McGrath told Reuters.

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