Jefferson Beck (USRA)/NASA
The rift in Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf continues to rip. Researchers from Project MIDAS, which tracks the effects of a warming climate on the ice shelf, report that the crack grew 17 kilometers between May 25 and May 31.
The crack has now turned toward the water and is within 13 kilometers of the edge of the shelf. Within days, the crack could reach the edge. When that happens, one of the largest icebergs ever recorded will fall into the ocean.
“There appears to be very little to prevent the iceberg from breaking away completely,” the researchers write.
After calving such a massive section, the shelf won’t be stable. It may experience the same fate as Larsen B, which disintegrated in 2002, after a crack there broke off a huge chunk of ice.