Trillion tonne iceberg breaks away from Antarctic ice shelf

A trillion tonne iceberg has broken away from the Antarctic ice shelf in what has been described by scientists as an event which will change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula forever.

Researchers have been monitoring a huge crack in the Larsen C Ice Shelf for some time and say the iceberg, which is more than a quarter the size of Wales, was “hanging by a thread”.

The 5,800 square kilometre (2,200 square mile) mass weighing more than a trillion tonnes has now calved, the team from the Swansea University-led Midas project said.

The final breakthrough happened between Monday and Wednesday and was detected in data from Nasa’s Aqua MODIS satellite instrument.

The calving of the iceberg, which is likely to be named A68, reduces the size of the Larsen C Ice Shelf by around 12 per cent and will change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula forever, the scientists said.

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