Nasa spots new iceberg three times the size of Manhattan in Antarctica

Nasa has spotted an enormous new Antarctic iceberg while on a mission to survey the region's shifting sea ice and glaciers.

It marked the first time anyone had laid eyes on the massive expanse of ice, which was said to have broken off Pine Island Glacier in late October and was first observed by satellites.

The US National Ice Center estimates the iceberg, dubbed B-46, representing 66 square miles (87 square miles) in size, around three times the size of Manhattan.

However, satellite images have already begun to break into smaller chunks.

The iceberg's discovery comes shortly after Nasa released images of two separate "tabular icebergs" – ones with completely rectangular shapes and smooth edges.

Ice shelves regularly "calve" icebergs, but scientists are monitoring this activity.

As part of NASA's Operation IceBridge, a fleet of research aircraft flying across the polar regions.

The new iceberg was spotted by the crew on board one of the planes.

Based on Nasa's information, the Pine Island Glacier now appears to be calving with increased regularity. Icebergs broke off in 2013, 2015, 2017, and now this year, prior to this major events only once every six years.

The dynamics of the region has major ramifications for the rest of the world, as Pine Island and the nearby Thwaites Glacier by themselves are contributing 1mm per decade of global sea level rise.

Past research by the British Antarctic Survey concluded that the thinning of the Pine Island Glacier had probably "reached a point of no return".


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