The massive 5,800-square-kilometer segment of the Larsen C Ice Shelf weighing 1 trillion tons has broken off the Antarctic Peninsula and is now adrift in the Weddell Sea. The iceberg's area is twice the size of Luxembourg and is more than three times the size of the greater London area.
The huge crack that spawned the new iceberg grew over a period of years. Some specialists say it was a natural event they had been anticipating for months, and they were surprised "how long it took for the rift to break through the final few kilometers of ice."
Other scientists claim the iceberg breakup signals that the ice shelf has gotten too thin and vulnerable. So far, experts can't predict how the situation will develop further. They suggest that the iceberg may split into several parts, or remain intact for decades, drifting to the north.