Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What A Iceberg The Size Of Delaware Might Look Like -- Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf/Berg

The European Space Agency -- using its CryoSat satellite instrument package, and its Copernicus Sentinel-1 craft -- has today modeled what the most massive ice-berg in history might well look like -- when it calves. See at right. But it will calve, no doubt. It is too massive, and the crack, just too deep -- for any other outcome. Physics tells no jokes.

A solid block of of ice, free floating, roughly the size of Delaware (or Galway, if that's your Irish perspective) -- will be the largest that has ever been witnessed in recorded human history. Thanks, climate change. From, then -- a bit:

. . . .All eyes are on Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf as a deep crack continues to cut across the ice, leaving a huge chunk clinging on. When it eventually gives way, one of the largest icebergs on record will be set adrift. . . .

Noel Gourmelen from the University of Edinburgh said, “Using information from CryoSat, we have mapped the elevation of the ice above the ocean and worked out that the eventual iceberg will be about 190 m thick and contain about 1155 cubic kilometres of ice.

“We have also estimated that the depth below sea level could be as much as 210 m. . . .”

Of course, it could break apart nearly immediately, spawning hundreds of smaller bergs, sooner or later, but there will be no way to know. . . until it happens. But it will happen. That is now a mathematical/earth sciences physics certainty. Tonight -- next week, next month -- or in 2018, but likely before 2019.

Now you know. City fun today, in between office work, with my fantastic adult offspring in town, and visiting [doin' all the "Ferris Bueller" stuff -- 1:20 PM Cubs and. . . ("I'm Abe Fromann -- the sausage king of Chicago!. . .")] -- until Sunday night, now! Onward. . . .


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