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Friday, 29 March, 2002, 10:00 GMT
New images of iceberg breakaway
Terra, Nasa
This image was taken on 10 March
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By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor
line
The US Terra satellite has captured more details of the dramatic breakaway of a huge iceberg in Antarctica.

The B-22 berg broke free from the Thwaites Ice Tongue, a large sheet of ice extending from the West Antarctic mainland into the southern Amundsen Sea.

The latest image shows the slow drift of B-22 from the shoreline and the freezing of the open water it has left behind.

B-22 measures approximately 82 kilometres long by 62 kilometres wide (51 miles by 38 miles).

Climate warming

The development of the B-22 berg can be clearly seen in these images from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on Terra.

The two views were acquired on 10 March (image at the top of the page) and 24 March (the bottom image), 2002.

At the right-hand edge is Pine Island Bay, where the calving of another large iceberg (B-21) occurred in November 2001. B-21 subsequently split into two smaller bergs, both which are visible to the right of B-22.

Antarctic researchers have reported an increase in the frequency of iceberg calvings in recent years. Whether this is the result of a regional climate variation or connected to a human induced global warming trend has not yet been established.

Icebergs are named for the section of Antarctica where they are first sighted. The B designation covers the Amundsen and eastern Ross Seas and the 22 indicates it is the 22nd iceberg sighted there by the US National Ice Center.

Terra, Nasa
24 March: B-22 drifts out into the southern Amundsen Sea
See also:

19 Mar 02 | Sci/Tech
Antarctic ice shelf breaks apart
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