US space agency NASA is closely monitoring the movement of a large sized iceberg that broke off from the Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier in November 2013.
In a statement the agency said, “Will likely be swept up soon in the swift currents of the Southern Ocean, though it will be hard to track visually for the next six months as Antarctica heads into winter darkness”.
The scientists came across the iceberg, B31, which is roughly six times the size of Manhattan, one of the largest iceberg.
The giant iceberg is presently is heading into the open ocean.
According to NASA glaciologist Kelly Brunt, the iceberg is about 255 square miles (660 square km) in area and is up to a third of a mile (500 meters) thick.
“It’s one that’s large enough that it warrants monitoring,” Brunt said.
She also noted that the U.S. government organizations including the National Ice Center always monitor the movement of icebergs at any given time.
Talking about the current location of the iceberg, Brunt said, “ It is currently in the area where there is no major ship traffic. But we’re not particularly concerned about shipping lanes. We know where all the big ones are,” she said.
The size of the iceberg although appealing to the scientists, the researchers are more concerned to find out the point of origin.
“It’s like a large sheet cake floating through the Southern Ocean,” she added.
This is not the first time when scientists are inspecting Pine Island Glacier, but it is under close watch over the past two decades as it has been thinning and draining rapidly and may be an important contributor to sea level rise.