British Scientists Get Front-Row Seat As Iceberg The Size Of London Breaks Off Brunt Ice Shelf

A huge iceberg the size of Greater London has broken off from the Antarctic. The berg is close to Britain's Halley research station, which sits on the Brunt Ice Shelf. Sensors on the shelf confirmed the split late on Sunday. Staff at the station are not in danger as they are 20km from the crack, known as Chasm One, and will maintain their base and its instruments until they are picked up next month. However, they had been reducing their operations ahead of the iceberg’s calving. The BAS team are being wary to see that there are no unexpected instabilities in the remaining ice shelf platform the station sits on. The British base is a series of modules on skis that allow it to be moved away from the edge of the ice shelf - so work can continue once scientists are sure the shelf is stable. In 2017, Halley was shifted 23km "upstream" when Chasm One began showing signs of activity. Had that relocation not taken place Halley would now be imperiled on the iceberg. Estimates put the new iceberg’s size at around 600 square miles. Although climate change is worrying scientists and has been blamed for other collapses in other parts of the Antarctic, in this case the split is natural behaviour for an ice shelf.