The Heat Is Online

Massive Antarctic Iceberg Breaks Off

Near-Record Iceberg Reported in Antarctica


ABC World News Tonight, March 22, 2000

MADISON, Wis. (Reuters) - An iceberg of near-record size -- about twice as big in area as the state of Delaware -- is breaking off from Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf and may soon be adrift, the University of Wisconsin said on Wednesday.

The school's Antarctic Meteorological Research Center said polar satellites clearly show the fissures outlining the oblong chunk of ice 183 miles long and 22 miles wide.

"This is a very big iceberg, close to a record if not a new record," said Matthew Lazzara, a scientist at the center. "It's not often that you see them of this magnitude."

The iceberg is much larger than one that broke away last October and posed a potential shipping hazard to vessels rounding Cape Horn. That chunk was 40 miles by 11 miles.

The center said the new iceberg may soon be adrift in the Ross Sea but no information was available on how soon or whether it might pose a shipping hazard.