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Scientists are closely monitoring a series of cracks running through Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf as they prepare for it to release an iceberg roughly 30 times the size of Manhattan.
Satellite images captured at the end of January show a rift that’s steadily been cutting northward is now nearing the edge of the shelf.
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Once it reaches this point, an area of ice estimated to be at least 1700 square kilometers (660 square miles) will break free – or, enough to envelope all five boroughs of New York City more than two times over.
Slide the bar to see how the crack has grown from 1986 to 2019
NASA - Crack - Brunt - Ice - Shelf
According to NASA, the crack in the Brunt Ice Shelf was stable for nearly 35 years before it recently began accelerating at staggering rates, hitting up to 4 kilometers (2.4 miles) per year.
While it won’t be the largest iceberg to split off from Antarctica by a long shot, it’s the biggest chunk the Brunt Ice Shelf has lost since observations began over 100 years ago in 1915.
Ice - Shelf - Site
And, the ice shelf is the site of...
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