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UK team set for giant Antarctic iceberg expedition

UK team set for giant Antarctic iceberg expedition

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceScientists will set out in the next week to study an Antarctic realm that has been hidden for thousands of years.A British Antarctic Survey-led team will explore the seabed ecosystem exposed when a giant iceberg broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula in 2017. The organisation has also released the first video of the berg, which covers almost 6,000 sq km.Its true scale begins to emerge in a shot filmed from an aircraft flown along its edge. Urgent missionAn international team will spend three weeks, from February to March, on board the research ship RRS James Clark Ross, navigating ice-infested waters to reach the remote Larsen C ice shelf from which the berg calved.British Antarctic Survey marine biologist Dr Katrin Linse, who is leading the mi...
NASA satellite spots shattered iceberg beneath the Antarctica's midnight sun

NASA satellite spots shattered iceberg beneath the Antarctica's midnight sun

Science
Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A newly released NASA image showcases the fragmented state of iceberg B-44, glistening in the midnight sun of Antarctica.B-44 is the berg that calved from Pine Island Glacier in September. Pine Island Glacier is one of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet's main outflows. B-44 was the second major fragment to separate from the glacier in the last several years. The first calving occurred in 2015.Analysis suggests the ice sheet and its glaciers are breaking apart from the inside out as warming ocean water weakens the coastal ice shelf from beneath.Scientists believe an unusually warm pocket of water also explains the rapid breakup of B-44, which shattered into more than 20 fragments shortly after its separation from the glacier. The warm water, known as a polyna, has prevented the ...
Big Antarctic iceberg edges out to sea

Big Antarctic iceberg edges out to sea

Science
The giant berg A-68 looks finally to be on the move. Recent weeks have seen it shuffle back and forth next to the Antarctic ice shelf from which it broke away. But the latest satellite imagery now indicates the near-6,000 sq km block is swinging out into the Weddell Sea. A wide stretch of clear water has opened up between the berg's southern end and the remaining Larsen shelf structure, suggesting A-68 is set to swing around and head north. This is the direction the Weddell currents should take the iceberg. Polar experts expect the trillion-tonne block to essentially bump along the shelf edge until it reaches the great eastward movement of ocean water known as the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. This would then export what is one of the largest bergs ever recorded out into the South Atlanti...
Massive iceberg breaks off in Antarctica

Massive iceberg breaks off in Antarctica

Technology
The event, captured by satellite, happened sometime in the past few days when the giant chunk snapped off an ice shelf. While such "calving" of icebergs is not unusual, this is an especially big one. It covers an area of roughly 2,300 square miles (6,000 square kilometers), more than twice the size of Luxembourg. Its volume is twice that of Lake Erie, according to Project MIDAS, a research group based in Britain. It broke loose from the Larsen C ice shelf, which scientists had been monitoring for months as they watched a crack grow more than 120 miles (200 kilometers) long. Scientists say global warming has caused a thinning of such shelves, but they differ on whether the latest event can be blamed on climate change. The iceberg is considered unlikely to pose any threat to shipping. And s...