Iceberg the size of Rio de Janeiro detached from Antarctica

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A giant iceberg of about 1,270 km² has come off Antarctica and has generated euphoria in the academic community. Although it seems somewhat alarming, especially considering the dimensions of the icerberg, which is almost the size of the city of Rio de Janeiro, it is good news. This is because detachments like this indicate a reorganization of nature in search of balance in the icy areas.

The phenomenon occurred in the Brunt region and was described by scientists as “spectacular” because, in addition to being rare, it occurred naturally and, contrary to what it seems, has no relation to climate change. The last major detachment recorded at the site occurred in the early 1970s.

The most recent movement was recorded by Halley station, of the British Antartic Survey (BAS), a UK institution dedicated to research in the region. Now, researchers will analyze satellite images to observe the detachment in more detail.

Detachment was predicted

“Although the rupture of large pieces of ice in Antarctica is completely normal, disruptions like the one detected on the Brunt platform on Friday are still quite rare and exciting,” said Professor Adrian Luckman of the University of Swansea in Wales, that predicted the detachment.

“With three long cracks that have been actively developing in the Brunt platform system over the past five years, we all predicted that something spectacular would happen,” Luckman told the BBC. “Time will tell if this detachment will cause more blocks to break in the coming days and weeks.”

The icerberg formed from the phenomenon is large, but even smaller than the A68 iceberg, which detached in July 2017 from the Larsen C ice platform. Either way, it will be tracked to avoid future risks to navigation. In addition, because it is in the same Antarctic quadrant (0-90W) in which the A68 originated, it will also have the letter “A” in its name – probably called A74.