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Massive Ice Floes from Ice Shelf in Antarctica

It is reported that a 1270 square kilometer ice floe broke away from the Brunt Ice Shelf in the west of Antarctica. The rift that occurred in November 2020 developed and reached the point of rupture.

In a statement made by scientists at the British Antarctic Research (BAS) institution, it was reported that a 1,270 square kilometer glacier broke off from the Brunt Ice Shelf, which is about 150 meters thick.

According to the news on the website, the rift that occurred in the northern part of the ice shelf in November 2020 developed and reached the point of rupture.

BAS Director Prof. “Our teams at BAS have been preparing for an iceberg separation from the Brunt Ice Shelf for years,” Dame Jane Francis said in a statement. Using an automated network of high-precision GPS devices surrounding the station, we monitor the ice sheet daily, measuring how the ice sheet is deformed and moving. We also use satellite images from the European Space Agency (ESA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the German satellite TerraSAR-X. “All data is sent back to Cambridge for analysis, so we know what happens even in the Antarctic winter, in total darkness, and when the temperature drops below minus 50 degrees when there are no personnel at the station.”

Swansea University Glacier Scientist Adrian Luckman said: “Breaking large parts of the Antarctic ice sheets is a perfectly normal phenomenon. Major detachment events such as those detected at the Brunt Ice Shelf remain extremely rare and exciting. “Time will show whether this separation will trigger the breakage of more parts in the coming days and weeks.”

"Ice Shelf Drifting West 2 Kilometers Every Year"

The Brunt Ice Shelf, monitored by a network of 16 satellites belonging to the US and European Space Agency, is known as the most watched ice sheet in the world.

Stating that the rupture is a part of the natural process, experts evaluated that more detailed research should be done in order to reach conclusions about the effect of temperature changes caused by global climate change.

Brunt Ice Shelf, 150 meters thick, drifts 2 kilometers westward on the Antarctic coast every year. As a result of this movement, ice mountains and large ice masses are formed in the region.

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