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Mapmakers update charts after iceberg breaks off Antarctica

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 7/12/2017 Doyle Rice
This satellite image shows the Larsen C ice shelf on July 12, 2017. According to a statement by scientists of the MIDAS project on an iceberg has 'fully detached' from the Larsen C ice shelf. © NASA Earth This satellite image shows the Larsen C ice shelf on July 12, 2017. According to a statement by scientists of the MIDAS project on an iceberg has 'fully detached' from the Larsen C ice shelf.

 

Top mapmakers are busily updating their charts after a massive iceberg sheared off Antarctica, fundamentally changing the landscape of the peninsula — likely forever.

The 1 trillion ton iceberg that broke off the Larsen C ice shelf is the size of Delaware and one of the largest ever recorded.

National Geographic said its map database will be immediately updated to illustrate the new configuration. Meanwhile, changes to its traditional print map and atlas products will occur as part of a regular cycle of updates, said Alex Tait, a National Geographic geographer.

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Alexis Sadoti, spokesperson at Rand McNally, says the mapmaking company follows a similar procedure and will illustrate the shelf's new look on its close-up or detailed Antarctica maps as part of its schedule of regular book updates.

However, most of Rand McNally's world maps show the coastline of Antarctica and not the ice shelf itself, Sadoti said.

Scientists with Project MIDAS, which monitors the ice shelf, said it's likely the remains of Larsen C are now too fragile to grow back to its former size.

 

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