British researchers tasked with observing south pole have reported that an iceberg larger than New York city broke off an ice-shelf in Antarctica on Friday. Although the Britain’s Helley research station was completely empty at the time, the scientists have managed to notice the event. The 12-person staff of the research center had left earlier this month after the beginning of the Antarctic winter.
The British researchers reported that the chunk of ice is 1,270 square kilometres in size and it broke free in a process called calving. Records stated that scientists had been anticipating a bog calving for over a decade now, after having watched large fissures on the ice shelf.
According to BBC, the last major chunk to come off in this area was in the early 1970s. Simon Garrod, director of operations at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), stated: “This is a dynamic situation. Four years ago we moved Halley Research Station inland to ensure that it would not be carried away when an iceberg eventually formed. That was a wise decision. Our job now is to keep a close eye on the situation and assess any potential impact of the present calving on the remaining ice shelf.”
Although the newly created iceberg won’t contribute to rising sea levels, the researchers say that the impact of calving events is still unpredictable. The BAS said that there is no evidence that climate change played an important role in this case. You can see a video showing the calving process and the huge crack on the ice-shelf below. It was recently shared on Twitter by BAS. Enjoy!