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You are here News Environment Antarctic Ice Shelf ‘Days, Hours’ Away from Breaking Off

Antarctic Ice Shelf ‘Days, Hours’ Away from Breaking Off

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Larsen C about to break offThe Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica is about to calve, which will create one of the largest icebergs in the world, one the size of Delaware. This will be the climax of around one year of anticipation when a crack was first noticed in the ice shelf.

The "calving" event could occur at any time, according to researchers – although exactly when eludes them. As it was put by the UK-based Project MIDAS (Melt on Ice Shelf Dynamics and Stability) who have led the observation of Larsen C, the event that could occur in "days, hours or weeks."

Contrary to popular belief, an ice shelf breaking apart does not necessarily entail a rise in sea levels. Ice floats on top of water after all – and just like an ice cube in a glass of water, it causes the water to displace. However, the complete collapse of Larsen C might be a different story.

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