The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that the world’s largest iceberg has emerged from the Rhone Ice Shelf in Antarctica, according to images from the European satellite of Copernicus.
According to a statement issued by the agency, the A-76 glacier, which is about 170 kilometers long and 25 kilometers wide, and has a total area of 4,320 square kilometers, is vanishing into the Weddell Sea.
It was initially observed by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), a British polar region research organization that has a base close to the site.
Until then, the largest iceberg in the world was A-23A, at 3,380 square kilometers, which is also nowhere near in the Weddell Sea, according to the European Space Agency.
Images of the massive A-76 ice mass were recorded by the Sentinel-1 satellite, which is part of the European Copernicus monitoring program.
The US National Ice Center said the A-76 Iceberg began separating the Rune platform on May 13.
The British polar station on the Brent Ice Shelf, also in the Weddell Sea, saw the rupture of an iceberg of 1,270 square kilometers.
In November 2020, another giant iceberg, the largest in the world when it broke in 2017, approached dangerously from an island in the South Atlantic, threatening penguin and seal colonies.
This glacier, A68, separated from a massive ice shelf, called Larsen C, depriving it of 12% of its surface, rendering it unstable. Other parts of this barrier, located on the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, disintegrated in 1995 and 2002.
The planet has warmed by more than 1 ° C since the pre-industrial era, due to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities. Nevertheless, Antarctica experienced a doubling of the temperature.
Scientists believe that icebergs are a natural process that warms the air and oceans.
Icebergs are traditionally named after a letter that corresponds to the Antarctic region in which they were first discovered, followed by a number.