Larsen C – first an ice shelf and now an iceberg – is the third largest such structure in history, some 5,800 sq km in size, making it twice the size of Luxembourg and almost four times larger than the Greater London area.
The volume of water comprising the iceberg is twice that of Lake Erie, one of North America’s five Great Lakes.
The crack in Larsen C, which eventually created the massive iceberg, has been visible on the continent since the 1980s. However, it was breaking free by January 2017, as described in a series of tweets by Project Midas and the European Space Agency.
Larsen C is now 12 percent smaller than it was 2 days ago and, although the ice shelf will continue to regenerate, there is a fear among scientists that it is now less stable than pre-calving and that Larsen C will go the way of its predecessor Larsen B. That disintegrated into the ocean in 2002 after calving in 1995.
— Project MIDAS (@MIDASOnIce) February 21, 2017