ONE of the largest icebergs ever recorded has just broken away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
Because despite the media and public fascination, the Larsen C rift and iceberg "calving" is not a warning of imminent sea level rise, and any link to climate change is far from straightforward.
The Larsen C ice shelf, the fourth-largest in Antarctica, has attracted (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40113393) worldwide attention in the lead-up to calving an iceberg one-tenth of its area 6 or about half the area of greater Melbourne.
But there is valid concern among scientists that the entire Larsen C ice shelf could become unstable, and eventually break up entirely, with knock-on effects that could take decades to play out.
Satellite images reveal that a crack in Larsen C rapidly extended tens of kilometers across the ice shelf in 2014.
Lead author Daniela Jansen, a glaciologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, expects that the crack will chip apart Larsen C within five years.
Because, despite the media and public fascination, the Larsen C rift and iceberg "calving" is not a warning of imminent sea level rise, and any link to climate change is far from straightforward.
However the (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/271/5250/788) sudden disintegrations of Larsen A and B in 1995 and 2002 respectively, and the (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2004GL020697/abstract) ongoing speed-up of glaciers which fed them, focused scientific interest on their much larger neighbour, Larsen C, the fourth biggest ice shelf in Antarctica.
Satellite observations collected between 1992 and 2001 suggest that the upper surface of the Larsen C
ice shelf dropped as much as 27 centimeters per year during the period.
In the days leading up to President Donald Trump's announcement on whether or not he will continue the participation of the United States in the Paris Climate Agreement, a crack in the Larsen C
Ice Shelf has rapidly expanded.
Stunning video footage of an enormous crack in the Larsen C
ice shelf in Antarctica was released this week by the (https://www.bas.ac.uk/media-post/new-footage-shows-rift-in-larsen-c-ice-shelf/) British Antarctic Survey.
The enormous piece of ice, almost the size of the state of Delaware, will soon break off of the Larsen C
ice shelf after a rift rapidly grew in December.