From a glacier on the Antarctic island Pine Island broke away the huge iceberg. Scientists waited for this event nearly two years. Scientists found a growing crack in a glacier in October 2011, and since then waited when the huge plateau completely will separate from a glacier and will be able to go to swimming on the ocean. On Monday the satellite from Germany TerraSAR-X saw that the crack reached from one edge of a glacier another. The German satellite is armed with radar with help of which can scan a surface even now when in Antarctic polar night. Scientists estimate the area of the broken-away iceberg approximately at 720 square kilometers. The biggest iceberg was a forward edge of ice shelf quickly slipping in the ocean. Huge icebergs break away from ice shelf of Antarctica of times in 6-10 years. The last time such similar ice plateaus went to swimming in 2007 and 2001.
Scientists emphasize that glacier slipping to the ocean and formation of icebergs is absolutely usual process and isn’t connected with climate changes which, however, in Antarctic are visible. When scientists found a crack in Pine Island’s glacier, they thought that the biggest iceberg will break away in some months, somewhere at the beginning of 2012. By the words of Professor Angelika Humbert from Alfred Wegener’s German Institute for scientists became to some extent a surprise that was necessary to wait as a result nearly two years. Now the most interesting to look, what is the time required to the biggest iceberg to come up from the gulf to the ocean. On it can leave months. Biggest of the registered icebergs broke away from an ice shelf of the Antarctica in 2001. Its area was 11 thousand square kilometers. This ice plateau drifted at the Southern ocean some years but didn’t thaw yet. Pine Island is one of the biggest and most mobile the Antarctica glaciers which are going down to the ocean. By estimates of scientists, about 10% of all icebergs of the West Antarctic ice board are formed here. Pine Island’s glacier loses more ice, than any other glacier on a planet. Its contribution to increase of level of the World Ocean is more, than at any other glacier therefore it should be studied.