British scientists get a front row seat to an iceberg the size of London breaking through the Brunt Ice Shelf

A huge iceberg the size of Greater London has broken off from the South Pole. The tower is located near Britain’s Halle Research Station, which is located on the Brunt Ice Shelf. Sensors on the shelf confirmed the split late Sunday. Staff at the station are not in danger because they are 20 kilometers from the fault, known as Chasm One, and will maintain their base and instruments until they are picked up next month. However, they scaled back their operations before the iceberg was born. The BAS team warns that there is no unexpected instability in the remaining ice shelf platform on which the station sits. The British base is a series of units on skis that allow them to be moved away from the edge of the ice shelf – so work can continue once scientists are sure the shelf is stable. In 2017, Haley was moved “upstream” for 23 kilometers when Chasm One began showing signs of activity. Had this transfer not occurred, Haley would now be in danger on the iceberg. It is estimated that the size of the new iceberg is about 600 square miles. Although climate change is of concern to scientists and has been blamed for other meltdowns in other parts of the Antarctic, in this case the splitting is a natural behavior of the ice shelf.

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