From Antarctica will soon break off the biggest iceberg

We have all heard about global warming, but how it affects the state of nature is not always possible to see clearly – more often change happens slowly and imperceptibly. This time the inhabitants of the planet have the opportunity to observe a much more rapid changes caused by temperature changes on the Earth: that’s it in a few weeks will break the iceberg, which is one of the ten largest in history.

Moreover, it flooding can cause rise in global sea level …

The crack remains only 20 km to the ocean.

In 1893 the Norwegian captain and the founder of the Antarctic whaling Carl Anton Larsen, explored the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, on the ship “Jason”. Later, a huge ice wall, along which sailed the captain called shelf glacier Larsen.

Initially ice shelf consisted of three parts: Larsen A, Larsen B and Larsen C (Larsen C was the largest of them). The first split Larsen And he went under water in 1995. Just seven years later, Larsen also split from the main body of the glacier. This iceberg was quite impressive in size – its area was equal to 3250 km2, and the thickness was 220 M. Larsen stayed on the water just over a month and eventually completely destroyed.

And now in jeopardy and the only “survivors” of the Larsen glacier, whose area is 55 thousand sq km, which is almost ten times the area of the “deceased” Larsen B and represents half of the area of Iceland. Today Larsen is the fourth largest glacier in the world.


The destruction of the second part of the glacier – Larsen V.

After 10 thousand years, while the glacier remained unchanged, the last decade significantly changed his story. And in December, 2016, scientists noticed a crack on the remaining part of the ice shelf, Larsen C. This fissure separates the huge block of ice with an area of about 5,000 km2 (it is twice the total area of Moscow). The crack is relatively small – only 100 m wide, but scientists believe it goes back to a mile.


The Antarctic coast and glacier Larsen.

According to the results of computer simulation and analysis of satellite images by scientists from the UK, who participate in the MIDAS project, in the last five months (from March to August 2016) ice age crack grew at 22 km (13,67 miles) long and now is 130 km (80 miles). For comparison, in the period from 2011 to 2015 crack has increased by 30 km in length. In addition, to date, the crack is 350 m wide.

Another 20 km away and the rock will break away completely. Therefore, scientists assume that this event is a matter of a few weeks. There are different versions of the reasons for this split, but global warming, directly or indirectly, in any case provided for this action.

If the whole block will sink in the ocean, despite its size, significant changes at the level of the ocean is not expected. Another thing, if you sink the whole glacier Larsen – and this can happen without the breakaway piece of the glacier may become much less stable. If the entire glacier will eventually go under water, the level of the world’s oceans will rise 10 inches.

According to scientist David Vaughn, “today, the situation is more than alarming: sea levels in the waters of the Atlantic increased, but glacier Larsen With more than and Larsen A and Larsen B. And if it melts, we can today with the help of a mathematical model to predict what will be the level of the oceans in the year 2100. It will rise about half a meter. It is not only climate change, this change practically the entire coastline on the planet.”

Interestingly, in June in Nature Communications appeared a study according to which on the surface of Larsen With the formed melt ponds. And the day before that a similar conclusion was reached by researchers from Durham University. The researchers analyzed hundreds of satellite images and data of meteorological observations of Langhovde glacier in East Antarctica and found that from 2000 to 2013 in Antarctica appeared about 8 thousand new lakes. Experts suspect that water some of the lakes can seep under the surface of the ice that threatens the stability of the glacier.

Russian scientists say that there is nothing terrible and amazing, because ice shelf Larsen is composed of volcanoes.

“Antarctica – land of volcanoes there are many active subglacial and preserved. Ice shelf Larsen’s three volcanoes. At the time there already were very powerful to the destruction of two sections of the glacier. Then it caused a wide resonance. But now they are almost completely recovered in multi-year fast ice. That is, everything is back to normal,”? NSN explained senior researcher of the Department of ice regime and forecasts, Arctic and Antarctic research Institute Andrey Korotkov.

He added that upheavals in recent decades, associated with the revival of volcanic and seismic activity everywhere. “This is a highly balanced system that returns everything to its place. Breakaway pieces of the Larsen ice sheet today assigned its place, even in multi-year fast ice”, ? said the scientist.

While Korotkov noted that the emergence and growth of the cracks is quite possibly due to the intensification of seismic processes in the region. But he added that this will not lead to the melting of glaciers in General.