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Huge Antarctic iceberg a quarter of the size of Wales set to collapse causing global sea levels to soar by 10cm and threatening deadly floods
The rift has been growing over the past month, with the iceberg set to break off soon – Press Association
A HUGE iceberg a quarter of the size of Wales is set to break off from Antarctica, threatening the collapse of a shelf of ice which could bring deadly floods.
Scientists say a rift in the Larsen C ice shelf is growing bigger and bigger – and with just 20km holding it in place, the 5,000 sq km bit of ice is expected to break free in the near future.
The piece of ice set to detach is a quarter of the size of Wales and could trigger further collapses of the Larsen C shelf – Press Association
Scientists say the huge piece of ice will break off over the next few months
The 350m thick iceberg will be a quarter of the size of Wales making it one of the biggest ever seen and currently floats on the edge of West Antarctica, holding back glaciers that feed into it.
This means that when it splits off the glaciers behind it will flow out to the sea and could bring huge floods.
Researchers claim sea levels could raise by 10cm if the whole ice shelf breaks up in the future after Larsen C.
Larsen C’s rift surged in December, with the future iceberg set to detach over the next couple of months.
Research project leader Professor Adrian Luckman of Swansea University told the BBC: “If it doesn’t go in the next few months, I’ll be amazed.
“The eventual consequences might be the ice shelf collapsing in years to decades.”
Scientists been tracking the rift in Larsen C for years after Larsen A collapsed in 1995 and Larsen B in 2002.
The collapse of Larsen B, a 1,235 square mile chunk of ice, resulted in warmer temperatures after it broke off after being stable for 12,000 years.
The whole of the West Antarctic ice sheet could collapse within the next century, leading to a dramatic rise in sea levels and cities engulfed in water.
Ohio State researchers revealed that “The collapse would lead to a sea-level rise of nearly 10 feet, which would engulf major U.S. cities such as New York and Miami and displace 150 million people living on coasts worldwide.”
The ice shelf is starting to collapse, like Larsen B, above, and could completely break away as a huge iceberg – NASA
The continent is covered in ice and has very few inhabitants beside researchers – Getty Images
Last year a team of British scientists revealed they are preparing to set off on a research mission to Antarctica this summer, where they will be forced to endure -55C temperatures.
They will be based at the British Antarctic Survey’s Halley Research Centre, which is one of the world’s most remote research bases and sits 850 miles from the South Pole.
And the icy continent is a hotspot for conspiracy theories, with internet sleuths claiming that it used to be inhabited.
Satellite images revealed what appears to be a large man-made structure on Antarctica, just months after claims an ancient city could be hidden under the ice.
Courtesy of thesun.co.uk