Over the last few years, a crack has been growing rapidly in the Larsen C ice shelf, which is located near the coast of South America. That’s according to scientists at the British Antarctic Survey who have been monitoring the ice shelf for more than 10 years.
The separation increased by over 18 miles from 2011 to 2015. In 2016, it grew by another 13 miles, and last month alone, 11 more miles broke off. The crack on the shelf is now about 70 miles long and over 1,000 feet wide. Only 12 miles holds the shelf and iceberg together.
At almost 2,000 square miles, this potential iceberg would be one of the 10 largest on record once it enters the ocean. The nearby Larsen A shelf disintegrated in 1995. In 2002, the Larsen B shelf partially collapsed. A NASA study estimates the same thing will happen to the Larsen C shelf.