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‘Iceberg, Right Ahead!’ as Huge Ice Shelf Breaks Off Antarctica

A rapidly-growing crack in Antarctica’s fourth-largest ice shelf has scientists concerned it is getting close to a full break.

The rift has accelerated this year in an area already vulnerable to warming temperatures. Since December, the crack has grown by the length of about five football fields each day! The crack in the Larsen C ice shelf now reaches over 100 miles in length, and some parts of the breach are as wide as two miles. The tip of the rift is currently only about 20 miles from reaching the other end of the ice shelf.

Once the crack reaches all the way across the ice shelf, the New York Times says the break will create one of the largest icebergs ever recorded.

Project Midas, the research team that has been monitoring the rift since 2014 says the amount of stress being placed on the remaining¬† 20 miles of the ice shelf means the break is expected very soon–within the next few months. The New York Times and NASA have some stunning new images and infographics that show the dramatic growth of the Antarctica crack.

Larsen C Ice Shelf - Courtesy of NASA

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