The European Space Agency (ESA) reports today that a block of ice measuring 4,320 km² has broken off from the Ronne sea ice. Named A-76 by scientists, this iceberg is now the largest to float on a sea.
The Filchner-Ronne Barrier or Filchner-Ronne Platform is a 422,420 km2 ice barrier contiguous to the Weddell Sea of Antarctica. It was named in honor of Wilhelm Filchner and Jackie Ronne, wife of Finn Ronne (1).
A-76 drifts over the Weddell Sea; sea bordering the southern ocean.
Satellite images had identified a first drifting glacier in the Weddell Sea. Called A-23A, it was considered until then as the largest in the world with its 3,380 km². In third position arrives, A-74. This 1,270 km² glacier broke off last February from the Brunt glacier platform, not far from the A-76.
However, it would seem that these specific phenomena are not directly linked to climate change. This is, in any case, the conviction expressed by Ted Scambos, researcher in glaciology at the University of Colorado, to the Reuters agency. According to him, the observations made over the long term of the various ice shelves in this area of the globe show that they "behave in a stable and almost periodic manner during the last century and beyond" . He also assured that the unhooking of these three huge icebergs, which in all likelihood should themselves be divided into several blocks, will not raise the level of the oceans.
(1) - source: Wikipedia.