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WATCH | 1,270 square kilometre iceberg breaks off in Antarctica

01 March 2021 - 11:00 By TimesLIVE

A giant iceberg, more than 20 times the size of Manhattan, split off from Antarctica's Brunt Ice Shelf, almost 10 years after scientists discovered the first cracks.

A major crack formed on the shelf in November 2020 and continued to grow until the iceberg finally broke off on Friday.

The iceberg, measuring 1,270km2, came off the 150m-thick Brunt Ice Shelf in a process called “calving”.

The crack, which is referred to as the “North Rift” crack, was the third major chasm to actively tear across the Brunt Ice Shelf in the past decade, reports LiveScience

DW.com reports that scientists had been expecting a huge chunk of ice to break away for almost a decade after the first “vast cracks” had formed on the shelf.

Icebergs naturally break off from Antarctica into the ocean, and there was “no evidence that climate change played a significant role” in this case, said scientists at the British Antarctic Survey. 

“Over [the] coming weeks or months, the iceberg may move away - or it could run aground and remain close to Brunt Ice Shelf”.