A giant iceberg broke away from Antarctica



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A giant iceberg broke away from Antarctica

Symptom of global warming, a gigantic iceberg the size of the whole city of Rome broke away from Antarctica near the British research station of Halley. Technological tools confirmed the fracture as early as yesterday. This break comes after a major crack formed in November 2020, which continued to grow at the rate of 1km per day, until its recent final break.

British Antarctic Survey, on its Fcaebook page, wrote: "A huge iceberg (1270 km²) the size of the county of Bedfordshire has broken off the 150-m thick Brunt Ice Shelf at the North Rift. Professor Dame Jane Francis, Director of British Antarctic Survey (BAS) says: Our teams at BAS have been prepared for the calving of an iceberg from Brunt Ice Shelf for years.

We monitor the ice shelf daily using an automated network of high-precision GPS instruments that surround the station, these measure how the ice shelf is deforming and moving. We also use satellite images from ESA, NASA and the German satellite TerraSAR-X.

All the data are sent back to Cambridge for analysis, so we know what’s happening even in the Antarctic winter, when there are no staff on the station, it’s pitch black, and the temperature falls below minus 50 degrees C (or -58F).

Over coming weeks or months, the iceberg may move away; or it could run aground and remain close to Brunt Ice Shelf. Halley Station is located inland of all the active chasms, on the part of the ice shelf that remains connected to the continent.

Our network of GPS instruments will give us early warning if the calving of this iceberg causes changes in the ice around our station."

Polar bear and the narwhal: the slow farewell with the melting of the ice

Arctic ice from 1979 to the present has shrunk by an average of 13% each year.

The polar bear and the narwhal are among the species most threatened by the melting of the Arctic ice. Journal of Experimental Biology study, also published by The Guardian, explained this problem. Experts said: "From time immemorial these large mammals, predators like the polar bear and the narwhal or not, have adapted their nature, their DNA to the Arctic icy environment.

Now these rapid changes are a desperate struggle for them." "The consequences of climate warming on the enormous increase in energy use needed by these predatory mammals will be a significant drop in their living numbers before we know it."

The melting of the Arctic ice threatens their hunting techniques for feeding, forcing these animals to a slow agony and projecting them towards an end that has been threatened for years, but which few are doing to avert.

According to the study, the polar bear lives in the cold by consuming as little physical energy as possible, hunting seals that with their fat provide them with sufficient calories, waiting to meet them, or digging holes in the ice to lure them to the surface and trapped.

Now it is often necessary to swim for three or four days to reach its prey: this means that the bear has to spend three to four times more energy to get food. The narwhal must dive and resurface quickly to hunt down the Greenland cod and return to the surface to breathe.

He can dive fast up to 1500 meters, but his body's oxygen supply is limited. The mobile ice sheets increasingly block his emergence, often making him risk death by drowning. The study also said that as in a chain reaction, climate change threatens not only polar bears and narwhals, but other Arctic species, from the Beluga whale, to the Arctic fox, to the musk ox.