Sunday, November 27, 2011

Born an iceberg the size of New York in Antarctica

NASA scientists discovered a crack in a glacier in Antarctica that continues to widen and should result in the coming months an iceberg of an area equivalent to that of New York , said Thursday the American space agency.

This crack in the glacier of Pine Island in the western part of Antarctica is at least 30 kilometers and 50 meters deep. The fracture, which widens the rate of two meters per day, will produce an iceberg about 880 km2 , as estimated by glaciologists, which emphasize that this phenomenon is not due to global warming, but a  natural cycle .

The iceberg should be fully formed in early 2012.

These icebergs are formed periodically in Antarctica. The last of which no record had been broken off from Pine Island Glacier in 2001 and scientists hope that the phenomenon reproduces rapidly.

The last crack was first detected in late September by researchers from NASA, which monitor changes in Antarctic ice by plane regular observations.

These aerial surveys are intended to fill the information gap between the end of the satellite operation ICESAT (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) in 2009 and the launch of its successor ICESAT 2 in 2016.


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