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This Nov. 10, 2016 aerial photo released by NASA, shows a rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf. According to NASA, IceBridge scientists measured the Larsen C fracture to be about 70 miles long, more than 300 feet wide and about a third of a mile deep. (John Sonntag/NASA via AP)

That huge crack in the Antarctic ice shelf just grew by 6 more miles


An iceberg the size of Delaware is six miles closer to breaking off of Antarctica.

According to researchers, a crack in the Antarctic ice shelf grew by 10 kilometers (six miles) in the last few weeks alone. And when the iceberg does break away, it would be one of the ten largest in recorded history.

Project MIDAS, a British Antarctic research group tracking the crack, said the break "will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula."

Researchers said it now measures more than 100 miles long.

Scientists say that a 1,900 square-mile section of the 'Larsen C' ice shelf is now only connected to the main body by a 12-mile section of ice. What started as a small crack has expanded 70 miles. It continued to grow rapidly during the second half of 2016 and well into December, according to Project Midas.

If it does break off, scientists say it would contribute to already rising sea-levels. It is believed that climate warming has brought forward the likely separation of the iceberg but there's no direct evidence to support this.

Still, records show that 2016 was the warmest year on record.

If it doesn't go in the next few months, I'll be amazed.
Adrian Luckman, MIDAS

While the causes might be sketchy, researchers with the MIDAS project have a pretty good idea of what the future might hold should the iceberg break away from the shelf. 

"If it doesn't go in the next few months, I'll be amazed," project leader Adrian Luckman said. "It's just a big geographical event that will change the landscape there."

In the meantime, a UK team is evacuating their base because of the growing crack.

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