Santiago de Chile (EFE).- The academic and glaciologist from the University of Chile, Alexis Segovia, explained to EFE that the recent detachment of a large mass of ice in Antarctica responds “to a common phenomenon” and is not directly related to the climate crisis, although this is going to have a negative impact on the life of the new Iceberg.
According to the scientist, the rupture of a piece of ice with a surface greater than London or Paris is the cause of “the dynamics of large glaciers.”
“The phenomenon is related to the movement of glaciers. This platform advances towards the sea and precisely the part that floats has less roughness than the part that is on land, therefore that fraction goes faster and if there are cracks, they expand”, he says about the mass of ice that is has detached
“When we have this ice shelf on water, it reaches such a longitude level that it eventually ends up breaking at the place of those cracks,” he adds in an explanation similar to that given by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), an organization that warned of the birth of the new Iceberg earlier this week,
In this sense, Segovia insists that “it is not closely related to climate change as such” since “it recurs when these advances of ice occur and they reach a very long level on water”
Faster melting in Antarctica
The Chilean glaciologist warns, however, that the warming of the oceans and the planet in general will have an impact on the evolution of the new mass of floating ice, whose life will be shorter.
“If the ocean temperatures increase and the air temperatures increase, the ice shelves will be exposed and they will weaken faster and, in theory, they could also break up faster and we will have more of these phenomena,” he stressed.
The great mass of ice, twice the size of the Chilean capital, separated this week from the Brunt platform 10 years after the appearance of the first crack, which BAS scientists calculated to be about 150 meters.
The objective now is to observe its evolution to draw possible conclusions about the state of the planet and the oceans, and give it a name, which will probably be imposed by scientific societies in the United States.
“Our glaciologists and teams have been anticipating this event with measurements of the ice sheet that were made several times a day using high-precision instruments,” warn BAS officials.
“These measure how the layer deforms and moves, which is compared to images from ESA, NASA and a German satellite. All the information is sent to the University of Cambridge for analysis,” they add.
“So we know what happens in the Antarctic winter, when there is no one at the station, it is dark 24 hours a day and temperatures drop below -50°C,” said BAS director Jane Francis a few days ago.