TECH

Drone Footage Shows Huge Crack In Antarctic Ice Shelf

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18/01/2017 12:47 GMT | Updated 08/02/2017 13:19 GMT

Drone footage has revealed the true scale of a vast crack in an Antarctic ice shelf threatening to break in half.

It was captured by scientists at the British Antarctica Survey who are being forced to leave their base on the shelf as the rift grows.

Researchers fear a breakup is imminent, leading to an iceberg a quarter the size of Wales drifting into the sea.

NASA

The event wouldn’t have an impact on rising sea levels, but scientists fear that it will leave the rest of the shelf at risk of fracturing.

If that happens, the grounded ice propped up by the shelf could also collapse, contributing to a global sea level rise of 10 cm.

The University of Swansea’s Professor Adrian Luckman, told BBC News he’d be amazed if the shelf didn’t break up in the next few months.

“There hasn’t been enough cloud-free Landsat images but we’ve managed to combine a pair of Esa Sentinel-1 radar images to notice this extension, and it’s so close to calving that I think it’s inevitable,” Luckman added.