Giant iceberg almost size of London circling Antarctic coast – News

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the british antarctic survey says it doesn’t know when scientists can return to one of its research stations it’s because of the danger posed by a giant iceberg almost the size of greater london experts are tracking the mass from space as it circles the antarctic coastline as our science correspondent jonathan amos reports you know this sort of carving of ice shelves is actually a natural process in fact the base that i lived in the buildings that i lived in back in the early 80s actually broke off and drifted away in an iceberg during the 1990s so this is a this is a known property of ice shelves that they extend out from the coast the ice runs off the antarctic continent runs out into the sea eventually it gets big enough that it becomes unstable and breaks away so british antarctic survey scientists certainly don’t think that this particular event is connected to climate change but that doesn’t mean to say we shouldn’t be concerned about climate change in relation to antarctica the antarctic peninsula for example a bit that sticks up towards south america is one of the most rapidly warming places on the planet and has already seen two eye shells completely collapse and drift away the problem then is that these ice shelves actually buttress the ice that’s sitting on land when they go that land ice can move much quicker it can then go out into the sea and once that happens then that can add quite dramatically if the process really speeds up to sea level around the globe right and it sounds like the scientists who are monitoring halle right now they actually want the iceberg to to knock back into the coast near the research station just explain why yeah they’d like that bit that’s hanging on like like a like a broken fingernail just clinging on by that last little bit they’d like that to actually break off and move away because at the moment the base can’t be accessed by ship because of that big crack and that large piece of ice that’s waiting to go and that means that it’s very difficult to resupply at the base it also leads to uncertainty in terms of leaving people there through the winter because it would be very dangerous to try and get people out if things did start going wrong during the perpetual darkness of the antarctic winter with temperatures down to to minus 50.

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so once that piece of ice gets out of the way and that the station itself now has been moved it was designed to be able to move for just this uh eventuality um then hopefully they’ll be able to get people back in there throughout the year and that was peter gibbs who himself has been to the halle antarctic ice station.

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