Antarctica, the white frozen continent is warming up and parts of its ice shelf called Larsen C, are cracking.
What is an ice shelf? An ice shelf is a floating piece of ice that is anchored to land.
What really happened? A crack more than 120 miles long had developed in Larsen C over the last several years. On Wednesday this week, scientists said that a giant block of the ice shelf had finally broken free to create one of the largest icebergs ever recorded. This is a big change and the physical map of Antarctica will need to be redrawn.
How do they know the iceberg broke off? It is now winter in Antarctica. This means it is too dark to get pictures of the iceberg from the ground. However, photos from space show that it has indeed finally broken off from the ice shelf.
What is the effect of this iceberg breaking off? The iceberg which is likely to be named A68, will not affect sea levels immediately. That’s because it was already floating on the ocean. However, ice shelves protect glaciers from floating out to sea. If too many ice shelves break off, glaciers can flow into the ocean and melt. That would cause sea levels to rise.