An iceberg that is nearly half the size of New York City is poised to break off West Antarctica’s Pine Island glacier, scientists say. The discovery was reportedly made earlier this month when researchers noticed a 19-mile-long rift in the ice shelf captured in satellite images. Stef Lhermitte, an assistant professor in the Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, has said the iceberg will be massive, measuring 115 square miles. Since “the rift is almost across the entire glacier, it might happen relatively soon,” Lhermitte was quoted as saying by the Scientific American. It would mark the sixth large-calving event experienced by the Pine Island Glacier since 2001. The glacier, one of the fastest flowing glaciers in Antarctica, loses about 45 billion tons of ice each year, which subsequently sends sea water levels climbing an estimated 0.03 inches every eight years.
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