A large portion of an ice shelf that was said to be “hanging by a thread” last month has broken off from the Antarctic mainland, creating one of the world’s largest icebergs, according to a Wednesday report by British Antarctic research group Project Midas.
The iceberg, which is estimated to have separated from the Larsen C ice shelf between Monday and Wednesday, will be named A68. It weighs 1 trillion tons and contains twice the volume of water held in Lake Erie, the report said. It is measured at 5,800 square kilometers, making it nearly twice the size of Rhode Island.
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Dr. Martin O’Leary, a glaciologist at Swansea University and a Midas member, said though the calving was not apparently tied to manmade climate change, it was nevertheless concerning.
“Although this is a natural event, and we’re not aware of any link to human-induced climate change, this puts the ice shelf in a very vulnerable position,” he said on the website. “This is the furthest back that the ice front has been in recorded history. We’re going to be watching very carefully for signs that the rest of the shelf is becoming unstable.”
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OK, now I'm REALLY confused. If there is no link to "human-induced climate change", then what's the big deal?
If this is "a natural event", can we all go back to sleep now?