HUGE iceberg breaks away from Antarctica

  • 12 July 2017
Crack in ice Image copyright Reuters
Image caption This picture shows the crack in the ice before the block broke away

Not long ago, Newsround reported how an enormous crack had appeared in the ice in Antarctica, near to an important scientific research station.

The crack forced the research station, which was based at the Brunt Ice Shelf, to move to a new location.

Now, the block of ice has broken away from the icy continent, forming one of the biggest icebergs that has ever been recorded, weighing a whopping TRILLION tonnes!

It is believed the iceberg finally broke away at some point between Monday and Wednesday.

It has not caught people by surprise though. Scientists have been monitoring the crack for more than 10 years and expected that this would happen at some point.

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Look at how the scientific research station had to move to avoid the crack (January 2017)

The block is estimated to be about 6,000 sq km large. That's about a quarter the size of Wales!

It will be important to see what happens to it now as it could get in the way of ships' routes, depending where it travels to.

Chris Borstad, from the University Centre in Svalbard, says: "At this stage, we really don't know whether there is some larger-scale process that might be weakening this zone, like ocean melting at the base of the shelf, or whether the current rift was just a random event that was bound to happen at some point."

So scientists will be watching very closely for what happens next...

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