From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : A-76 Iceberg
Mains level : Impact of climate changes on Cryosphere
A huge ice block has broken off from western Antarctica into the Weddell Sea, becoming the largest iceberg in the world and earning the name A-76.
Answer this PYQ in the comment box:
Q.On the planet earth, most of the freshwater exists as ice caps and glaciers. Out of the remaining freshwater, the largest proportion:
(a) is found in the atmosphere as moisture and clouds
(b) is found in freshwater lakes and rivers
(c) exists as groundwater
(d) exists as soil moisture
- A-76 is the latest in a series of large ice blocks to dislodge in a region acutely vulnerable to climate change, although scientists said in this case it appeared to be part of a natural polar cycle.
- The iceberg, measuring around 170 km long and 25 km wide, with an area of 4,320 sq km is now floating in the Weddell Sea.
- Slightly larger than the Spanish island of Majorca, A-76 had been monitored by scientists since it began to separate from the Ronne Ice Shelf.
- It joins the previous world’s largest title holder A-23A — approximately 3,880 sq. km. in size — which has remained in the same area since 1986.
- A-76 was originally spotted by the British Antarctic Survey and the calving — the term used when an iceberg breaks off — was confirmed using images from the Copernicus satellite.
Note: An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that has broken off a glacier or an ice shelf and is floating freely in open water.