Iceberg A-68 calved from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in July 2017. With a surface area of 5,800 square kilometres, twice the size of Luxembourg, larger than Delaware and weighing one trillion tonnes, it is one of the largest recorded icebergs, the largest being B-15 which measured 11,000 square kilometres before breaking up. Its calving reduced the overall size of the Larsen C shelf by 12 percent.
The name "A-68" was assigned by the US National Ice Center.
History and recent developments
A-68 was part of Larsen C, a section of the Larsen Ice Shelf. The scientific community is divided whether the calving is the result of climate change, or merely a natural occurrence. Scientists found the crack beginning to form in November 2016, and others suggested that it might have broken off as early as a decade ago. According to scientists observing the iceberg's path, A-68 "didn't just break through in one clean shot, [but] it formed a lace-network of cracks first."
Scientists are looking into the possibility of the ice shelf collapsing as a result of the split with A-68, or whether the iceberg was the "cork" for Larsen C that allows ice to flow more freely into the sea, thereby contributing to rising sea levels.
Since November 2017, satelite images show A-68 is slowly drifting northward, with a widening gap to the main shelf. The gap was approximately five kilometers wide and contained a thin layer of loose, floating ice and a cluster of over 11 'smaller' bergs, one much larger than the rest.
Radar imagery from ESA's Sentinel-1B taken on 12 July 2017, showing the complete break
- "Larsen C calves trillion ton iceberg". Project MIDAS. 12 July 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
- "Giant iceberg splits from Antarctic". BBC. 12 July 2017.
- "Massive iceberg breaks away from Antarctica". CNN. 12 July 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- Davis, Nicola (2017-08-02). "What happened next to the giant Larsen C iceberg?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
- Mosher, Dave (12 July 2017). "Where Antarctic iceberg from Larsen C shelf might go in Southern Ocean". Business Insider. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
- Luckman, Adrian. "I've studied Larsen C and its giant iceberg for years – it's not a simple story of climate change". The Conversation. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
- Dvorsky, George. "Antarctica's Massive Iceberg Is Starting to Disintegrate". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
- Becker, Rachel (2017-08-02). "Cracks are still spreading where that massive Antarctic iceberg broke free". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
- Mark Prigg (14 November 2017). "Earth's newest iceberg up close: NASA reveals incredible new images of trillion ton A-68 which is the size of DELAWARE". Daily Mail. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- Amos, Jonathan (March 2, 2018). "Mission to giant A-68 berg thwarted by sea-ice". BBC News. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- Media related to Iceberg A-68 at Wikimedia Commons