A big iceberg,15 times the size of a city like Paris, broke away a few days ago from the ice barrier of Amery, in Antarctica. A completely natural phenomenon, which this time has nothing to do with global warming.
An iceberg of 1,636 square kilometers for 210 meters of thickness, weighing more than 350 billion tonnes, broke off from its anchorage in the Antarctic, between September 24 and 25. The structure has distanced itself from the Amery sea ice, the third largest floating platform on the continent. The region had not experienced calving since the 1960s, when a 9,000 square kilometer iceberg broke off.
The iceberg is now slowly moving west, possibly threatening some ships that might cross its path. But that’s about the only danger that this event represents.
This calving actually results from a completely natural phenomenon. Over time, glaciers flow from the land to the sea, forming floating ice platforms. In this case, Amery sea ice. The accumulation of snow sometimes leads to the fracturing of these platforms, causing some pieces to come off.
“Ice barriers must lose weight because they are constantly gaining weight. They want to keep their size,” says Helen Amanda Fricker, a professor at the Scripps Oceanography Center at the University of California San Diego. “This event is part of the normal pack ice cycle, and while Antarctica is a cause of great concern today, there is nothing to worry about here. “
This event has nothing to do with rising temperatures. And this iceberg, already floating in the water, will have no effect on rising sea levels. “It’s really important that the public does not get confused and does not think it’s ‘an event related to climate change,” says the researcher.