Photos: The birth and eventual death of the new Antarctic iceberg the size of Delaware

iceberg antarctica sunset illustration shutterstock_220203454

Antarctica shed an iceberg of mind-boggling size from its Larsen C ice shelf this week .

The block of ice — one of the largest ever documented — will likely be given the unceremonious name of A68 by the US National Ice Center, whose abbreviations denote both an iceberg’s location and order of discovery.

Iceberg A68 now begins a long journey into the Southern Ocean and toward its doom: as liquid in Earth’s vast and complex system of water.

Here’s how scientists discovered the giant iceberg, how it calved, and how it will eventually die — and be reborn.

SEE ALSO: 25 photos that prove we’re all stowaways on a tiny, fragile spaceship we call Earth

DON’T MISS: Here’s what Earth might look like in 100 years — if we’re lucky

In 2015, glaciologist Daniela Jansen discovered a growing crack in Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf, which was then the fourth-largest ice shelf on the continent. The shelf is hundreds of years old, maybe more.

Sources: The Conversation (via Business Insider); The Cryosphere

Ice shelves like Larsen C formed after millennia’s worth of snow covered Antarctica in a mile-thick sheet of ice from its bedrock to its surface.

Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Gravity tirelessly pulls that ice toward the sea, where it pushes onto water to form gigantic shelves.

 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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