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Monster iceberg breaks off Antarctic ice shelf

Monster iceberg breaks off Antarctic ice shelf

By Peter Dykstra
CNN Sci-Tech Unit

(CNN) -- Satellite images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have detected another in an increasing series of massive icebergs which has broken off the frozen continent of Antarctica.

The new iceberg measures roughly 47 miles by 4.6 miles (76 km by 7 km), or almost ten times the area of Manhattan.

In recent years, the escalating number of massive icebergs breaking free from the continent has raised concerns that temperatures are steadily warming in the Antarctic region.

Such a trend, which many scientists suspect is an early sign of global warming, could have implications for climate changes over much of the planet's surface. Also, many in the shipping industry consider the development a navigation hazard as icebergs drift northward and break up.

C-18 is nearly four times the size of Manhattan 

NOAA monitoring of satellite images from the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program detected the new berg this week on the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, a expansive ice area extending out from the continent in the portion of Antarctica closest to New Zealand.

The National Ice Center, a Navy, NOAA and Coast Guard inter-agency, tracks the locations of the icebergs, and in recent years has spotted some within 1,000 miles of Capetown, South Africa and Christchurch, New Zealand.

Icebergs can take years or longer to drift into open water, a National Ice Center spokesman said. Some bergs remain grounded near the Antarctic coast for decades. Right now C-18 remains close to the shelf and does not pose a risk to navigation.


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