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Gargantuan Iceberg A-83 Calves Off Antarctica: SIMPLIFIER



  May 29, 2024

Gargantuan Iceberg A-83 Calves Off Antarctica: SIMPLIFIER



What happened?

A massive iceberg, named A-83, roughly four times the size of New Delhi, broke off from the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica on May 20, 2024.

How big is the iceberg?

The iceberg covers an area of 380 square kilometers.

What caused this event?

The iceberg calved due to prolonged weakening of the ice at the McDonald Ice Rumples and the extension of a large crack known as the “Halloween Crack.”

Has this happened before?

Yes, this is the third significant iceberg to break off from this region in the past four years. Previously, icebergs A-74 and A-81 calved in 2021 and 2023, respectively.

How was the iceberg detected?

Radar images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite captured the detachment, and thermal data from Landsat 8 helped measure the iceberg’s thickness.

What does this mean for climate change?

While calving is a natural process, the increased frequency raises concerns about the impacts of climate change on Antarctic ice shelves.

Is there any threat to research stations?

The event does not pose an immediate threat to the British Antarctic Survey’s Halley VI Research Station, which was relocated in 2017 due to ice instability.

Why is satellite monitoring important?

Satellites like Copernicus Sentinel-1 provide crucial year-round monitoring, especially during the dark winter months, helping scientists observe and understand changes in Antarctic ice shelves.



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