A few days ago, a huge iceberg broke off in Antarctica. It took several decades for it to break away from the ice sheet, after cracks and crevasses had been forming for almost 50 years.
An iceberg twice the size of New York City broke off the Brunt ice shelf on the coast. The first cracks had already formed in the 1970s. Since then, the cracks and crevasses gradually deepened until they broke open on January 22, 2023.
Fig. 1: Satellite images show giant iceberg A81 breaking away from Brunt ice shelf; Source: www.nasa.gov/
The giant tabular iceberg, named "Iceberg A81," has an area of about 1550 square kilometers. This is almost a quarter of the original size of the entire Brunt Ice Shelf. In February 2021, a 1270 square kilometer iceberg already broke off and drifted to the east of the Weddell Sea. It is currently summer in the Southern Hemisphere and Antarctica. Such events are classic for summer.
Fig. 2: Deviation of the annual average temperature in Mc Murdo; Source: Météo Climat
Global warming is virtually nonexistent in Antarctica. Some parts are warming slightly (Mc Murdo), while other parts are cooling (Casey). However, the global trend on the icy continent is toward some climate stability in recent decades (Vostok, Amundsen-Scott, Dole C, etc.).
Fig. 3: Deviation of the annual average temperature in Casey; Source: Météo Climat