ANTARCTICA (CBSMiami) – An iceberg the size of Delaware, weighing over a trillion tons, has broken off of Antarctica, NASA confirmed.
Scientists with Swansea University, who have been monitoring the situation, said the iceberg, one of the biggest ever recorded, broke off of the Larsen C ice shelf, which is about 20,000 square miles long.
Luckily, the iceberg was already floating before it broke off, so it won’t directly impact the sea levels, scientists said.
Despite that, they will continue to monitor it.
“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. 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,” said Dr. Martin O’Leary with Swansea University.
While the remaining ice shelf will continue to regrow naturally, researchers with the university have shows the new configurations is possibly less stable than it was prior to separating. There is still a risk that the ice shelf could have the same fate as its neighbor, Larsen B, which disintegrated back in 2002 after a similar “rift-induced calving” situation in 1995.
The Larsen Ice Shelf runs along the northeastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, one of the fastest-warming places on the planet, according to NASA.