Jul 23, 2017 | Updated: 04:04 PM EDT

Larsen C Ice Shelf, The Size of Delaware, Falls Off From Antarctic Continent: Iceberg Heading Towards The Atlantic

Jul 13, 2017 06:14 PM EDT

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Broken sea ice is seen from a window of a NASA Operation Ice Bridge airplane in-flight over Antarctica.
(Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The huge mass of one trillion tons of ice succumb to the effects of global warming and falls to the sea. The anticipation of constant calving of the ice shelf that was constantly on the monitors of various agencies came when it fell to the sea.

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A research team based in the UK reports that the incident covers an area of 5,800 square kilometers (2,239 square miles) just severed from the main ice shelf East of the Antarctic Peninsula. Ice shelves had been in a collapsing pattern since the Larsen A collapse in 1995.

Larsen C ice shelf is the fourth biggest mass of ice to collapse with a comparable size three times than that of the Greater London Area. According to experts led by Professor Adrian Luckman of Swansea University and Lead Investigator of the Managing Impacts of Deep Sea Resource Exploitation (MIDAS) project, the floating iceberg has water twice the volume of Lake Erie in North America.

The largest iceberg on record is the B15 calving off at Ross Shelf in Antarctica with an area double the size of the Larsen C back in 2000. Scientists are baffled of the weird changes of weather in the region causing ice shelf calving one after the other. Scientists say that warmer weather will cause more ice to melt. Larsen C total area in now lesser by 12 percent as the fallen ice shelf now is an iceberg floating in the waters, reports CNN

The Antarctic calving off of the Larsen ice shelf is in confirmation with the NASA's Aqua Satellite tool called the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite Instrument on the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Orbiting Satellite. Scientists are studying the effect to the rest of the remaining Larsen C ice shelf after the separation of the volume on record.

According to Glaciologist Kelly Brunt with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland, the event will tell how the ice shelf responds to the incident. Question if the shelf will weaken and fall off like what happened to Larsen A and B. Will it maintain its shelf health and maintain its balance? Glaciologists found reason not to worry of additional calving as there are two pinning points holding the remaining 90% of Larsen C, reports Science Daily

Glaciologist Chris Shuman of the University of Maryland identifies the pillars that pin the shelf as the Bawden Ice Rise to the North and the Gipps Ice Rise to the South. Scientists admit that they still cannot quantify the scale of the Larsen C ice shelf collapse on the world's water level. A foot or two of a rise in sea levels is alarming.


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