Climate Minute: An iceberg larger than New York City has broken off of Antarctica

Meteorologist Sarah Spivey explains that scientists have been preparing for this for years

Meteorologist Sarah Spivey explains why we can't really blame climate change for the large break in the Antarctic ice shelf in late February 2021

Watch the video above for an explanation from KSAT Meteorologist Sarah Spivey

Friday, February 26, a massive iceberg larger than New York City broke off of the main ice shelf, which is almost 500 feet thick. At first glance, this may seem to echo one of the most common images of climate change – large glaciers falling into the sea because of a warming climate. However, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

The huge iceberg broke off of the Brunt Ice Shelf (Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

This happened on a part of Antarctica known as the “Brunt Ice Shelf.” Here, British scientists are stationed, conducting various experiments. These scientists have been preparing for almost a decade for this eventual large breakage, which is called “calving.” According to the British Antarctic Survey, researchers were able to move their base inland in 2016, ensuring the safety of their researchers.

Although the breakage may seem alarming, calving is a very natural process within ice shelves, so it’s not clear if climate change has had an impact on this particular event.

Scientist will continue to monitor this newest, very large iceberg.

About the Author:

Sarah Spivey is a San Antonio native who grew up watching KSAT. She has been a proud member of the KSAT Weather Authority Team since 2017. Sarah is a Clark High School and Texas A&M University graduate. She previously worked at KETN News. When Sarah is not busy forecasting, she enjoys hanging out with her husband and cat, and playing music.