Antarctique : un gigantesque iceberg s'est détaché

Le nouvel iceberg qui mesure environ 200 km de long pour une contenance de 1.155 km2 de glace va faire l’objet d’une surveillance accrue

Cet iceberg géant fait plus de 5800 kilomètres carrés, selon les estimations des chercheurs, ce qui équivaut à la surface du département français de la Creuse.

Les représentants de l'université de Swansea croient que l'éducation de la nouvelle de l'iceberg n'est pas due au réchauffement de la planète et ne conduira pas à l'élévation du niveau des océans.

Bien que libéré, l'iceberg n'aura pas d'impact direct sur le niveau des océans car il flotte déjà sur l'eau.

Une immense faille de 175 km de long, identifiée depuis 2014, s'était créée sur la barrière de Larsen, une formation de glace le long de la côte orientale de la péninsule Antarctique du Cap Longing. En juin, il n'était plus relié au reste du continent que par un bras de glace de 13 km. Il pourrait toutefois entraîner une dégradation de la barrière de glace Larsen C. Or, cette barrière retient notamment des glaciers qui eux, pourraient faire gagner 10 centimètres aux océans...

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Il faut savoir que si Larsen C se dégrade aujourd'hui, ce fût déjà le cas de Larsen B en 2002 et de Larsen A en 1995, et ce, par le même procédé. Il se trouve être l'un des plus grands jamais observés par l'homme. " Au cours des mois et années qui suivent, explique-t-il, la plateforme de glace pourrait soit progressivement se reconstruire, soit souffrir de nouveau de détachements pouvant conduire à un effondrement". Larsen C était fissuré depuis 2011 par une énorme crevasse.

Cet iceberg, de par sa taille - 55 fois plus grand que Paris Intramuros - peut faire peser un risque sur le commerce maritime. Il pourrait rester entier, mais devrait plus probablement se rompre en plusieurs fragments.

Les satellites de la NASA et de l'Agence spatiale européenne surveillaient l'évolution de la situation. "Certains morceaux resteront sans doute immobiles pour des décennies, tandis que d'autres iront vers le nord, dans des eaux plus chaudes".

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