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Once The World’s Largest Iceberg, A68 Has Already Melted After Breaking Away From Antarctica

Mark Andrew

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  • Iceberg A68, formerly known as the world’s largest, has officially melted after it broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula in 2017.
  • The US National Ice Center has said that the iceberg is no longer worth tracking after it broke into small fragments.
  • According to observers, the Atlantic’s warm water melted the massive iceberg.

Iceberg A68 was once known as the biggest of its kind in the world. It made headlines in 2017 after it broke away from the Larson C Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Now recent reports are telling us that the iceberg has completely melted away. Although it initially stayed static, it later drifted north towards the South Atlantic into South Georgia’s British Overseas Territory. This led to the iceberg melting faster because of the Atlantic’s warm water and air temperature. As a result, the US National Ice Center (USNIC), an agency that tracks and names icebergs, has declared that they will already stop tracking A68 after it turned into several small fragments.

The massive A68 iceberg measured around 6,000 sq km and was about 230m thick.

In a media interview, Swansea University’s Adrian Luckman said it was “amazing” that the iceberg was able to last for a long time.

“If you think about the thickness ratio – it’s like four pieces of A4 paper stacked up on top of one another,” he explained. “So this thing is incredibly flexible and fragile as it moved around the ocean. It lasted for years like that. But it eventually broke into four-to-five pieces and then those broke up as well.”

A68 managed to generate some buzz online after users took advantage of space data tools that allowed them to track the iceberg’s progress.

British Antarctic Survey mapping specialist Laura Gerrish shared the iceberg captivated “a lot of different people” because “we saw every little twist and turn. We were able to follow its progress with daily satellite images, at a level of detail we’ve not really been able to do before.”

Watch the video report here:

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