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Iceberg the Size of Delaware, Among Biggest Ever Recorded, Snaps Off Antarctica (marketwatch.com) 305

A giant iceberg about the size of Delaware that had been under scientists' watch has broken off from an ice shelf on the Antarctica Peninsula and is now adrift in the Weddell Sea. From a report: The 2,200 square-mile, trillion metric-ton section of the Larsen C ice shelf "calved" off sometime between Monday and Wednesday, a team of researchers at Swansea University's Project MIDAS has reported, citing imaging from NASA's Aqua MODIS satellite instrument. Scientists have tracked the crack for more than a decade and they warned in June that the section was "hanging by a thread." Its break, from Antarctica's fourth-largest ice shelf, changes the border shape of the peninsula forever even though the remaining ice shelf will continue to grow. "The iceberg is one of the largest recorded and its future progress is difficult to predict," said professor Adrian Luckman of Swansea University, lead investigator of the MIDAS project. "It may remain in one piece but is more likely to break into fragments. Some of the ice may remain in the area for decades, while parts of the iceberg may drift north into warmer waters."
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Iceberg the Size of Delaware, Among Biggest Ever Recorded, Snaps Off Antarctica

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  • by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @12:09PM (#54794137) Homepage Journal

    To build a new, unsinkable, super cruise liner ship. At least four chimneys will be required.

  • by CustomSolvers2 ( 4118921 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @12:11PM (#54794151) Homepage
    I firstly read about this in a Spanish newspaper claiming that it was bigger than Madrid. Afterwards, I found out in Twitter that it was bigger than London. And now I know that it is as big as Delaware! And the worst part is that I don't even have a reasonably accurate idea about how big it is! LOL.
    • by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @12:14PM (#54794171)
      The future of Antarctica is mobile.
      • Well that's because it's obviously growing!
      • Area of Madrid: 233.3 mi
      • Area of London: 607 mi
      • Area of Delaware: 2,491 mi
      • (Source: Google)
      • by avandesande ( 143899 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @12:22PM (#54794257) Journal
        According to phys.org--

        It created an iceberg of about 5,800 square kilometres (2,200 square miles), with a volume twice that of Lake Erie, one of the North American Great Lakes.

        Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-... [phys.org]
      • Thanks for the much-clearer-at-least-to-me version.
      • Well that's because it's obviously growing!

        No. It looks like it is growing slightly and slowly, but then reverses and shrinks.

        It's breathing! It's alive. It inhales fresh air . . . and exhales Greenedhouses Gases.

        This is why we need to kill it with Mechani-Kong as soon as he boots up!

      • So everything is good.

        1. 1) This report says it 2,200 Sq. Miles, roughly the size of Delaware. OK: 2,200 is on the same order as 2,491.
        1. 2) OP said they read a report that it is bigger than Madrid. OK: 2,200 is bigger than 233.3.
        1. 3) OP said they read a report that it is bigger than London. OK: 2,200 is bigger than 607.

        This seems to all agree, and I'm not sure where the confusion is.

        Shouldn't we be reporting in acres or square furlongs?

      • Read closer. The size of Delaware is bigger than London and bigger than Madrid. The iceberg is the size of Delaware and bigger than London and bigger than Madrid.

        The Delaware article at least gave something relatively close in size. The iceberg is also larger than a tube of toothpaste, which also isn't relevant or particularly helpful.

        • by Thud457 ( 234763 )
          Confusion like this is why we should all standardize on Libraries of Congress for all dimensional units. 1 unit, 47 uses.
    • Saw one come through the firehose that described it as twice the size of Luxembourg, and the weight at "trillion-tonne"...
      • Anyone can easily understand Luxembourg-based area measurements! Why including in the summary that Delaware gibberish? LOL.
        • Because most of us here are Americans and dammit we don't want none of that commie metric measurements here on this site.
          • Relax! I was trying to be understanding with other cultures by supporting an internationally-recognised alternative. In fact, I have no idea what 1 Luxembourg is either. I only recognise as valid area units the bullring and the soccer stadium.
            • I really hope your last comment was tongue in cheek, as mine was.
              • Sure. How could I react otherwise to a comment including an expression like "commie metric"? I don't think that anyone has ever used an expression like that seriously. Exactly the same than defending the usage of bullrings/soccer stadiums as area units.

                Note to myself: better coming back to the previous approach of somehow tagging (adding LOL or something) all my non-completely-serious posts to avoid potential misunderstandings.
                • I have had far too many people over the years mistake my posts as serious when they are not and if in doubt will include a /sarcasm and considered it for that one but thought it should be obvious. Although it has been a long few weeks so mentally I am a bit burned out so that may be part of it.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @12:19PM (#54794223) Journal

      I'll clarify it for you: it's 17,242.0571 Libraries of Congress.

    • how many library of congresses would fit in it
    • by mspohr ( 589790 )

      The Guardian said it was the size of Luxembourg so that should clear things up.

      • Luxembourg is the size of Delaware now?

        • No. The old-imperial measurement of "Delaware" is roughly 2 and a half times the size of the more useful internationally recognized metric measurement of "Luxembourg".

      • News.com.au said it was both twice AND four times the size of the Australian Capitol Territory ... in the same article.

    • by Muros ( 1167213 )

      I firstly read about this in a Spanish newspaper claiming that it was bigger than Madrid. Afterwards, I found out in Twitter that it was bigger than London. And now I know that it is as big as Delaware! And the worst part is that I don't even have a reasonably accurate idea about how big it is! LOL.

      I too have been introduced to new measurements today. Apparently, 1 Galway + 1 Delaware = 0.5 Wales!

    • The Talking Head on the German news said "seven times the size of Berlin!"

      Hmmm . . . I wonder if there is a mathematical limit as to how many descriptions in relation to size to something else can exist. In other words, we could know its size in relation to something else, but we still have no idea how big it actually is . . .

    • by sinij ( 911942 )
      I know, if only they reported using consistent units - football fields.
      • I don't think that any serious reporter is allowed to be so inaccurate! Do you mean European, American or Australian football?
    • Damn Americans using non-standard "Delaware" units of measure instead of a more civilized "Luxembourg" unit of measure.

    • It's 1.9674e+9 square Smoots [wikipedia.org]

    • by AVryhof ( 142320 )

      According to Wolfram Alpha, it's about 1.205 million football fields in size.

      https://www.wolframalpha.com/i... [wolframalpha.com]

    • I firstly read about this in a Spanish newspaper claiming that it was bigger than Madrid. Afterwards, I found out in Twitter that it was bigger than London. And now I know that it is as big as Delaware! And the worst part is that I don't even have a reasonably accurate idea about how big it is! LOL.

      You think you have it hard, this article [news.com.au] says it is both twice AND four times the size of the Australian Capital Territory.

      At least I know how big the ACT is but I still have no idea about the size of this iceberg.

    • Same size as Lake Erie.

  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @12:22PM (#54794261)
    they've always wanted one.
    • they've always wanted one.

      There is an awful lot of water in that iceburg. That could make a big impact on their water needs. (or any other country that were able to harvest it).

  • Nothing to see here folks.. Move along. Don't pay any attention to weeds and bugs that are moving north... Move along. Just another stupid ice thing broke in some god forsaken land. Just pay not attention.

    Hey look! The latest outrageous tweet. Keep chasing that like a dog chases the laser pointer dot.

    • by citylivin ( 1250770 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @02:23PM (#54795259)

      "Nothing to see here folks.. Move along."

      Actually in this case, its more emblematic than anything. From the BBC article:

      "What is the significance of the calving?

      In and of itself, probably very little. The Larsen C shelf is a mass of floating ice formed by glaciers that have flowed down off the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula into the ocean. On entering the water, their buoyant fronts lift up and join together to make a single protrusion.

      The calving of bergs at the forward edge of the shelf is a very natural behaviour. The shelf likes to maintain an equilibrium and the ejection of bergs is one way it balances the accumulation of mass from snowfall and the input of more ice from the feeding glaciers on land. ...

      But Larsen C today does not look like its siblings. Prof Helen Fricker, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, told BBC News: "The signs we saw at Larsen A and B - we're not seeing yet. The thinning we saw for Larsen A and B - we're not seeing. And we're not seeing any evidence for large volumes of surface meltwater on the order of what you would need to hydro-fracture the ice shelf.

      "Most glaciologists are not particularly alarmed by what's going on at Larsen C, yet. It's business as usual.""

      http://www.bbc.com/news/scienc... [bbc.com]

      Obviously its great to have massive events like this to draw attention to the cause, and keep climate change at the front of peoples minds, but it seems like this isnt that big a deal. It isnt raising sea levels or single handidly causing giant problems by its calving alone.

      Just part of the program these days.

  • by MiniMike ( 234881 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @01:09PM (#54794687)

    Why use Delaware? It's less taxing [google.com] than other states!

    (add your own rimshot noise)

  • "The 2,200 square-mile trillion metric-ton section".

    Please post these things in units that can be universally understood.

    How big is it in football fields?
    • How many Olympic-sized swimming pools would it fill?
    • Please post these things in units that can be universally understood.

      They did.

      For the imperialists, "2200 square mile" is a relevant unit.

      For everyone else, "trillion metric-ton" is relevant. A metric ton is 1000 kg. At about 1kg per 1000 cc, that's 1e6 cc. A trillion (1e12) of those would be 1e18 cubic centimeters. About. Every metric user should immediately identify that kind of volume.

      The only problem in combining the imperial with metric is that one is a volume and the other is an area. But let's play. 2200 square miles is about 5.7e9 square meters, if my math is rig

  • For all those people wondering what we're comparing the iceberg to. Apparently it's bigger than:

    Madrid: 604km^2
    London: 1572km^2
    Luxembourg: 2586km^2
    Twice the size of the Australian Capitol Territory: 4716km^2
    *
    Delaware: 6452km^2
    Four times** the size of the Australian Capitol Territory: 9432km^2

    * Size of iceberg actually slots in here.
    ** The twice the size and four times the size were both in the same article [news.com.au].

  • Forever? Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by strikethree ( 811449 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @03:04PM (#54795523) Journal

    Its break, from Antarctica's fourth-largest ice shelf, changes the border shape of the peninsula forever even though the remaining ice shelf will continue to grow.

    It is the use of words like this that make me wonder about the sanity of the people writing this shit.

    The headline should be: Unfathomably large chunk of ice just broke off of an ice shelf in Antarctica.

    Why would anyone care if the fucking coastline has changed? Forever. The universe is not a static place, coasts even less static than most. Why is the coastline changing forever even a part of this story?

    I am sure such insanity is being promulgated for a reason. I have no idea if it is to drive me away from, or to, whatever mouthbreathing thing they are trying to push but I am weary of it.

    Just provide facts. A VERY light touch of speculation of what it could mean is okay as long the writer specifically mentions it is speculation. It is almost as if we can't think for ourselves or something... or actively being prevented from thinking?

  • Double it and add thirty. So that's thirty-two metric Delawares.

  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @07:52PM (#54797257)
    http://time.com/4854428/iceber... [time.com]

    At the end of the video we get "It was a natural event that had been anticipated for months and was not directly caused by climate change."

    Putting this 'insignificant' piece of information at the end speaks volumes as to why people are tuning out MSM.

We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.

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