The largest iceberg we know of has just broken off Antarctica, it is the size of Mallorca and now floats through the ocean
In recent days a piece of Antarctica has split apart. A section 170 kilometers long and 25 kilometers wide , practically the same area as the island of Mallorca. Under the name A-76, it is the largest iceberg that the European Space Agency has identified to date.
The detachment of the gigantic chunk of ice was captured by the satellites of the European Space Agency . It broke away from the Ronne Ice Shelf in Antarctica and now floats freely in the Weddell Sea in western Antarctica. All this happened in the last ten days, starting the detachment on May 11.
The iceberg has a size of 4,320 square kilometers according to ESA , thus becoming the largest in the world. Since icebergs follow a standard system for naming that is based on the quadrant where they are created, this has been named A-76.
A natural cycle
Because the ice shelf from which the iceberg has been detached was already floating in the water, this separation will not affect sea level. According to ESA, what does indirectly contribute to the rise of the sea is the fracture of the ice shelf itself. Reason? Usually, the ice shelves help to slow down the flow of glaciers and ice currents towards the sea. If your part, these events occur more easily.
Researchers do not believe that this new iceberg is the cause of man-made climate change. They say that these types of landslides are natural and typical of ice shelves.
In the coming weeks, different satellites will continue to track the route that the new iceberg follows . It is expected that as time passes and it gets closer to warmer water currents, the iceberg will eventually fragment into smaller pieces. This is what happened, for example, with A-68 , the previous largest iceberg in the world. As we saw months ago, he ended up fragmented in several pieces until when he approached the island of South Georgia he ended his life.