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Iceberg antartica { May 21 2002 }

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Iceberg Breaks Away From Antarctica

By Randolph E. Schmid
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, May 21, 2002; 6:16 PM

WASHINGTON Another new iceberg has broken away from Antarctica, the National Ice Center reported Tuesday.

The berg named D-17 broke off from the Lazarev Ice Shelf, a large sheet of glacial ice and snow extending from the Antarctic mainland into the southeastern Weddell Sea.

The new iceberg is 34.5 miles long and 6.9 miles wide, about the same size as St. Lucia Island in the Caribbean Sea. It was observed on an image collected by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program.

Icebergs are named for the area quadrant of Antarctica where they appear. D-17 is the 17th berg reported since record keeping began in 1976.

Just last week, an iceberg nearly as large as the Chesapeake Bay called C-19 broke away from Antarctica, where it is late summer.

In March, another giant berg broke free in an adjacent area. Named B-22, it measured 2,120 square miles, bigger than the state of Delaware. Also in March, a large floating ice shelf in Antarctica collapsed.

However, new measurements indicate the ice in parts of Antarctica is thickening, reversing earlier estimates that the sheet was melting.

Scientists reported in January that new flow measurements for the Ross ice streams indicate some of their movement has slowed or halted, allowing the ice to thicken. Researchers don't know if the thickening is merely part of some short-term fluctuation or represents a reversal of the ice's long retreat.

That report, in the journal Science, came less than a week after a paper in Nature reported that Antarctica's harsh desert valleys long considered a bellwether for global climate change have grown noticeably cooler since the mid-1980s.

The National Ice Center, based in Suitland, Md., provides worldwide ice analyses and tracking to assist the military and private shippers. It is a joint operation of the Navy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Coast Guard.

On the Net:

National Ice Center:

Image of D-17:

2002 The Associated Press

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