Vast iceberg breaks off near UK Antarctic base

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2023

LONDON: A huge iceberg nearly the size of Greater London has broken off the Antarctic ice shelf near a research station, the second such split in two years, researchers announced on Monday.

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) said the formation of the new iceberg -- in a natural process called “calving” -- was not due to climate change, which is accelerating the loss of sea ice in the Arctic and parts of Antarctica.

The iceberg, measuring 1,550 square kilometres, detached from the 150-metre-thick Brunt Ice Shelf a decade after scientists first spotted massive cracks in the shelf. A similar spectacular separation, involving a 1,270-square-kilometre iceberg, occurred around a year ago. “This calving event has been expected and is part of the natural behaviour of the Brunt Ice Shelf,” said BAS glaciologist Dominic Hodgson.