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Another iceberg, quadruple the size of Manhattan, breaks free from Antarctica

26 Septembre 2017

It is also accountable for a quarter of the frozen continent's ice deprivation, a stupendous 45 billion tons of ice each year.

On September 23, satellites witnessed yet another dramatic iceberg-forming event as a massive chunk of ice four times the size of Manhattan broke free. Now, something eerily similar has happened, with a huge chunk of ice falling off Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier and making its home in the sea.

Researchers went on to explain that smaller, thinner cracks have been spotted on the glacier, and that these may indicate that small pieces of ice could break off in the near future.

Last fall, NASA's Operation IceBridge mission snapped a photo of the rift in Pine Island Glacier that would lead to the latest calving event.

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Earlier this year, and absolutely massive iceberg broke free from Antarctica, moving freely into the ocean and acting as a stern reminder of the toll humanity is taking on the planet. It's melting differently from other parts of Antarctica.

Glacial melting and icebergs in general are of interest to scientists all over the world, but Pine Island Glacier is of particular interest because of its potential to greatly impact sea levels.

A rift in Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica, photographed from the air during a NASA Operation IceBridge survey flight, November 4, 2016. Recently, scientists have found new valleys forming inland in Antarctica's ice sheets, which could be hints of ice melting far below and, consequently, impending collapse.

Pine Island is one of the largest glaciers in Antarctica, which has seen major ice loss in recent years. It could also be causing more rifts to form more often. The calving was spotted by the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, according to The Washington Post, which shared a satellite image (below) of the newly formed ice berg. But what's most interesting about this most recent even is not just that yet another huge iceberg has broken free, but the location from which it was calved off the larger glacier. If this continues, scientists believe that one possible result will be raised sea levels, with the entire main trunk of the Pine Island Glacier possibly breaking off in around 100 years.

Another iceberg, quadruple the size of Manhattan, breaks free from Antarctica