Skip to Content
Space

Satellites are tracking an enormous iceberg that broke off from the Antarctic ice shelf

October 1, 2019
The D28 iceberg breaking away from the Antarctic ice shelf
The D28 iceberg breaking away from the Antarctic ice shelfAustralian Antarctic Division

The 630-square-mile iceberg is the biggest to break away from the Antarctic’s Amery Ice Shelf since 1963.

The news: A huge iceberg has broken off from an ice shelf in the Antarctic. It was detected by the European Union's Sentinel-1 satellite system, which is continuing to track the iceberg, dubbed D28, because it could be seriously disruptive for shipping and resupply operations in the Prydz Bay area of the Antarctic. The process of breaking off, known as “calving,” took place last week but was revealed by researchers today.

Is it linked to climate change? For once, no. “It’s part of the ice shelf’s normal cycle, where we see major calving events every 60 to 70 years,” Helen Amanda Fricker, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, told The Australian. It is not expected to have any impact on sea levels.  

What’s next: Satellites will be used to closely monitor where D28 goes, and how quickly. If sea ice forms around it, it could become a major problem, as it could block off shipping access to monitoring stations in the area. The satellite will also observe the Amery Ice Shelf, as there’s a possibility that a section of it, known as the “loose tooth,” could break off before too long.

Sign up here for our daily newsletter The Download to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.

Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.

Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.

AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.

What’s next for AI in 2024

Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.