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Even more ice is about to break off of Antarctica — and it’s what scientists feared most

Business Insider logoBusiness Insider 2017-07-25 Gene Kim
<span style="color:#333333;font-size:13px;background-color:#ebebe4;">Scientists on NASA's IceBridge mission photographed an oblique view of a massive rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf. Icebridge, an airborne survey of polar ice, completed an eighth consecutive Antarctic deployment on Nov. 18.&nbsp;</span> © NASA/Maria-Jose Viñas Scientists on NASA's IceBridge mission photographed an oblique view of a massive rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf. Icebridge, an airborne survey of polar ice, completed an eighth consecutive Antarctic deployment on Nov. 18. 

The giant crack that's been racing across Antarctica Larsen C ice shelf finally met its breaking point between July 10 and 12. The result was an iceberg the size of Delaware and weighing a trillion metric tons. 

But that's not the end of the story. In fact, it could be the beginning of a more important, more dangerous story. 

The iceberg that broke off — dubbed A68 — was just one piece of the much larger Larsen C ice shelf. Now, scientists want to know how stable is the ice shelf that has been left intact, connected to the Antarctic continent. 

Recent satellite images suggest that pieces of the remaining ice shelf are already preparing to break off, creating more, smaller icebergs that will join Iceberg A68.

Moreover, a new crack has formed close to where the old crack left off. And it's headed for Bawden Ice Rise, which is a critical anchor point for the ice shelf. Scientists aren't certain the crack will reach Bawden Ice Rise, but they are keeping a close eye on it, nevertheless. 

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