Massive iceberg that dwarfs Manhattan being watched closely by scientists

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.

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Massive iceberg that dwarfs Manhattan being watched closely by scientists
NASA scientists discovered a massive crack across the Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica. Nov. 13, 2011. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
Chile, Patagonia, Los Glaciares National Park, Landscape
People walking on Perito Moreno.
Argentina, Perito Moreno, Panoramic view of iceberg
2001
Dock on Jokulsorlon lagoon with glacier in backgro
Climbers on an Alpine Glacier
Icebergs on Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Breidamerkurjokull Glacier, Vatnajokull Ice Cap, Iceland
Zodiac cruising off the Antarctic peninsula.
Glacier in Argentina
Icebergs line the Ross Dependency of the South Ocean, Antarctica, February 2000 (Photo by Frances M. Ginter/Getty Images)
USA, Alaska, Tracy Arm - Fjords Terror Wilderness, Huge column of ice calves from collapsing face of Dawes Glacier
Disko Bay, Greenland - an iceberg floats freely in the calm reflective waters of the Arctic Ocean
Perito Moreno glacier, Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina
Icerbergs and Glacier in Antarctica
As we cruised in front of Monacobreen Glacier in our boat, a large chunk of ice calved off of the glacier and fell into the water sending an explosive plume of water into the air.
Breidamerkurjokull, Vatnajokull Ice Cap, Iceland
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