world's largest iceberg

World’s Largest Iceberg formed after ice slab breaks off Antarctica

A huge slab of ice has broken off Antarctica, forming the world’s largest iceberg. The iceberg is currently afloat in the Weddell Sea, has been named A-76, and is the shape of Manhattan but more than 70 times bigger.

The surface of the iceberg spans 4,320 square km and measures 175 km long by 25 km wide as per European Space Agency. The iceberg was spotted in the satellite images by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, of the ESA.

The iceberg was first spotted by British Antarctic Survey, as it broke off from the western side of the Ronne Ice Shelf.

The process of Hydrofracturing is likely the main culprit for the formation of the glacier. Hydrofracturing occurs when water –which is heavier than ice – pours through cracks in the surface of ice shelves caused by surface warming, violently forcing the fractures to zip open, causing an iceberg to break off.

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These icebergs could pose serious threats to wildlife if they end up along the surface. One such case was in November last year when an iceberg A68a broke off and formed the largest iceberg then. It was on a collision course to the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia.

The overall surface temperature of Earth has increased by 1 percent since the 19th century but the air over Antarctica has risen by twice the amount. This is leading to breaking off major chunks of ice from the Ice Shelves.

Read more: Global ice sheets melting rate matches the worst-case scenario

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