100-Mile Crack Slicing Through Antarctic Ice Shelf Troubles Scientists

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This Nov. 10, 2016 aerial photo released by NASA, shows a rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf. According to NASA, IceBridge scientists measured the Larsen C fracture to be about 70 miles long, more than 300 feet wide and about a third of a mile deep. (John Sonntag/NASA via AP)

A rift in an Antarctic ice shelf has grown to more than 100 miles long, and scientists say it could soon calve off into one of the largest icebergs ever recorded.

A U.K.-based team of scientists known as Project MIDAS (@MIDASOnIce) says the iceberg is likely to break free from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf within the next few months. The ice already floats on the ocean, so its separation won’t raise sea levels, but the loss of such a large chunk of sea ice is likely to hasten the melting of glaciers on land, which would contribute to sea level rise.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Project MIDAS’s Martin O’Leary (@mewo2), a glaciologist at Swansea University in Wales.

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