A big iceberg roughly the size of Greater London has broken away from the Antarctic, close to Britain's Halley research station.
BAS has an array of GPS devices in the area that relay information about ice movements back to the agency's HQ in Cambridge.
Officials will be inspecting satellite imagery when it becomes available. They will want to see that no unexpected instabilities emerge in the remaining ice shelf platform that holds Halley.
A similar sized berg, known as A74, calved in February 2021 further to the east. At the time, it was thought that its departure might initiate the latest breakaway, but these events are beyond any confident prediction.
It is on the Brunt Ice Shelf, which is the floating protrusion of glaciers that have flowed off the Antarctic continent into the Weddell Sea. On a map, the Weddell Sea is that sector of Antarctica directly to the south of the Atlantic Ocean. The Brunt is on the eastern side of the sea. Like all ice shelves, it will periodically calve icebergs. Prior to this latest berg and A74, the last major chunk to come off the Brunt was in 1971.
Absolutely. Just not its timing. Scientists continuously monitor any major cracks in the Brunt, and had noticed one particular split - dubbed Chasm One - start to open up again after decades of dormancy. Recent years had seen the propagation of Chasm One accelerate, resulting now in the complete separation of a block of ice that is about 150-200m thick.