Massive iceberg that dwarfs Manhattan being watched closely by scientists

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Massive Iceberg Six Times The Size Of Manhattan Breaks Off Antarctica

A giant glacier the size of Guam that broke off Antarctica isn't worrying scientists as much as it's amazing them.

The giant block of ice is six times the size of Manhattan, covering 225 square miles, and it's heading into the open sea. It broke off from the Pine Island Glacier in the Amundsen Sea last year and NASA officials have been watching the icy island ever since.

But scientists have kept an eye on the Pine Island Glacier for two decades ... because it's been melting rapidly - at almost 3 inches per day - due to currents of warm water flowing underneath it. Experts believe it could be an important contributor to rising sea levels.

However, one scientist told the Associated Press it's normal for icebergs to split off from glaciers. Fortunately, they say this particular block, which is more than 1,600 feet thick, doesn't put shipping traffic or sea levels at risk.

The team that's been tracking it says it will bring them new information about local ocean currents. The iceberg is expected to drift into the Southern Ocean.

Massive iceberg that dwarfs Manhattan being watched closely by scientists
This combination of Dec. 10, 2013, left, and March 11, 2014 photos provided by NASA shows a large iceberg separating from the Pine Island Glacier and traveling across Pine Island Bay in Antarctica. Scientists are watching the iceberg, which is bigger than the island of Guam, as it slowly moves away from the glacier, bottom right in December, upper left center in March. NASA scientist Kelly Brunt said it is more a wonder than a worry and is not a threat to shipping or sea level rise. (AP Photo/NASA)
In this Oct. 26, 2011 photo made available by NASA, NASA’s DC-8 research plane flies across the crack forming across the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica. The ice shelf is in the midst of a natural process of calving a large iceberg, which it hasn’t done since 2001. NASA scientists are watching the giant crack forming over a vulnerable Antarctic glacier and they think it will soon break off into an iceberg the size of New York City. Scientists say this type of cracking happens naturally every decade and is not related to global warming. They said the new iceberg could break away by the end of this year or early next. (AP Photo/NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Jefferson Beck)
NASA scientists discovered a massive crack across the Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica. Nov. 13, 2011. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
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