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SOURCE: Science Alert

DATE: October 10, 2018

SNIP: Antarctica’s Pine Island glacier could soon lose another massive chunk of ice, with signs of a 30 kilometre (19 mile) long crack appearing along its surface.

Only a year ago a 260 square kilometre (100 square mile) iceberg split free from the glacier – the fifth large calving event this century. That makes this one a potential number six, reflecting an alarming trend that could eventually have an impact on rising sea levels.

There are still roughly 10 kilometres of ice connecting the prospective iceberg to the end of the glacier; once that breaks free in the coming weeks or months, it will be a monstrous 300 square kilometre (115 square mile) island adrift in the Antarctic’s oceans.

These types of iceberg calvings are also starting to happen more often than we’d expect, in line with a rise in the rate of melting ice in West Antarctica.