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Satellite images reveal HUGE CRACKS in Antarctic ice sheet

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ESA's Copernicus Satellite program captured images of cracks and ice births on Pine Island Glacier (pictured above)

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New images captured by ESA's Copernicus Sentinel satellites show two major new cracks in the West Antarctic ice sheet.

The cracks have appeared on Pine Island Glacier, a part of the West Antarctic ice sheet that has been rapidly pouring increasing amounts of ice into the ocean over the past 25 years.

Scientists predict the cracks, which span more than 20 kilometers in length, could lead to the creation of a huge new ice iceberg.

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ESA's Copernicus Satellite program captured images of cracks and ice births on Pine Island Glacier (pictured above)

According an ESA report, the ice speed on Pine Island Glacier currently exceeds 10 meters per day, leading to a number of major calving events in 1992, 1995, 2001, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

According to ESA, the last observed cracks appeared after the birth of 2018, which led to the creation of a huge ice iceberg called the B-46.

"These new breaches appeared shortly after last year's big birth on the B46 iceberg," said ESA's Mark Drinkwater.

& # 39; Sentinel-1 winter monitoring of its progressive extension signals that a new iceberg of similar proportions will soon be explored.

The B-46 iceberg broke off from Pine Island Glacier last November and measured 66 nautical square miles, or 87 square miles, about three times the size of Manhattan.

Satellite imagery shows Pine Island Glacier (pictured above) without major cracks or ice cracks in 2018

Satellite imagery shows Pine Island Glacier (pictured above) without major cracks or ice cracks in 2018

New 2019 images show two 20km cracks (pictured above) in sea ice on Pine Island Glacier

New 2019 images show two 20km cracks (pictured above) in sea ice on Pine Island Glacier

Ice shelves, floating glacial areas that surround much of Antarctica, soothe icebergs as part of the natural process of ice flowing into the sea.

The rapid pace of birth events in recent years has helped raise global sea level.

Only Pine Island and the nearby Thwaites Glacier are contributing about 1 millimeter per decade to global sea level rise as sea ice flow has accelerated in recent years, according to NASA research.

The Antarctic Ice Crisis

Global sea level is rising three times faster than a quarter of a century ago because of global warming, a study shows.

Antarctic ice losses have raised sea levels by nearly 8 mm (1/3 in.) Since 1992, with two-fifths of this increase occurring in the last five years alone.

The findings mean that people in coastal communities are at greater risk of losing their homes and becoming so-called climate refugees than previously feared.

They are the result of an important climate assessment known as the Ice Mass Balance Comparison Exercise.

In one of the most complete Antarctic ice sheet images, an international team of 84 experts combined 24 satellite surveys to obtain the results.

The study's co-leader, Professor Andrew Shepherd of the University of Leeds, said: “We have long suspected that changes in the earth's climate affect polar ice sheets.

One of these birth events produced another usual phenomenon, a neatly rectangular Delaraware-sized ice iceberg called A-68.

"The iceberg was so clean it was reasonable to suppose it could have come off the Larsen C ice shelf very recently," NASA said, referring to another ice sheet near the West Antarctic ice sheet.

The iceberg was discovered on October 16, 2018, during a flight to Operation IceBridge – NASA's long-term aerial research on polar ice.

During that day's research on glaciers and ice rigs along the northern Antarctic peninsula, scientist Jeremy Harbeck spotted the iconic iceberg.

The edges of the iceberg were not only extremely straight, but both corners seemed "square" at right angles.

Scientists used images from Landsat 8 and the European Space Agency Sentinel-1 to track the iceberg back to its origins.

The iceberg traveled north and through a narrow passageway between the north end of the A-68 and a rocky outcrop near the ice shelf known as the Bawden Ice Rise. NASA / UMBC glaciologist Chris Shuman compares this zone to a nutcracker.

The A-68 struck repeatedly against the elevation and caused chunks of ice to break into well-defined geometric shapes.

By November 2018, the iceberg had left the rubble zone and entered open water.

Shuman said, "Now it's just another iceberg on its way to death."

A second rectangular iceberg, known as the tabular iceberg, was located on the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, near and near the Larsen C ice shelf.

This is part of a large field of icebergs that NASA specialists may have recently cracked on the shelf, and they say sharp angles and flat surfaces are evidence that the break has occurred very recently.

The disruption produced an impressive number of tabular ice icebergs.

In an interview with LiveScience, NASA scientist Kelly Brunt said that tabular icebergs are like breaking nails, giving them sharp edges.

The largest observed iceberg in the world, the B-15, was taken from Antarctica in March 2000 and measured over 4,200 square miles.

Last year, the B-15 had swerved north to South America and lost almost all of its mass to just 50 nautical square miles.

BERG's Amazing Rectangle

He departed the new front of the ice shelf in early November 2017, just months after the A-68 escaped.

The rectangle iceberg then began a journey north, sailing in the newly opened water between the Larsen C ice shelf and Iceberg A-68.

Collision threats were everywhere: the A-68 could collide with small bergs at any time, and smaller bergs could collide with each other.

The iceberg traveled north and through a narrow passageway between the north end of the A-68 and a rocky outcrop near the ice shelf known as the Bawden Ice Rise. NASA / UMBC glaciologist Chris Shuman compares this zone to a nutcracker.

A geometric ice rubble area is visible in the Landsat 8 image of October 14, 2018, two days before the IceBridge flight. The A-68 struck repeatedly against the elevation and caused chunks of ice to break into well-defined geometric shapes. The once-long rectangle of iceberg failed to pass unharmed; broke into smaller pieces. The iceberg in Harbeck's photograph, circled in the annotated satellite image Landsat 8, appears closer to the shape of a trapeze. The trapezoidal iceberg is about 900 meters wide and 1500 meters long, which is small compared to the A-68 the size of Delaware.

A geometric ice rubble area is visible in the Landsat 8 image of October 14, 2018, two days before the IceBridge flight. The A-68 struck repeatedly against the elevation and caused chunks of ice to break into well-defined geometric shapes. The once-long rectangle of iceberg failed to pass unharmed; broke into smaller pieces. The iceberg in Harbeck's photograph, circled in the annotated satellite image Landsat 8, appears closer to the shape of a trapeze. The trapezoidal iceberg is about 900 meters wide and 1500 meters long, which is small compared to the A-68 the size of Delaware.

The A-68 struck repeatedly against the elevation and caused chunks of ice to break into well-defined geometric shapes.

A geometric ice rubble area is visible in the Landsat 8 image of October 14, 2018, two days before the IceBridge flight.

The once-long rectangle of iceberg failed to pass unharmed; broke into smaller pieces.

The iceberg in Harbeck's photograph, circled in the Landsat 8 annotated satellite image, looks closer to the shape of a trapeze.

The trapezoidal iceberg is about 900 meters wide and 1500 meters long, which is small compared to the A-68 the size of Delaware.

By November 2018, the iceberg had left the rubble zone and entered open water.

. (tagsToTranslate) dailymail (t) sciencetech (t) Climate change and global warming

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