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Cracked glacier to produce giant iceberg

Feb. 2, 2012 at 4:32 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- A newly released satellite image shows a 19-mile crack in a glacier in Antarctica that could release an island of ice the size of New York, U.S. experts say.

The crack was first spotted in the Pine Island Glacier in October, and a NASA satellite captured the new image on Nov. 12, the New York Daily News reported.

The crack has grown to 260 feet wide and 195 feet deep, NASA scientists said, and a huge iceberg will eventually separate from the glacier and float into the open ocean.

Ice shelves are thinning at an accelerated pace due to global warming, researchers said, although the crack in the Pine Island Glacier appears to be part of the natural process of iceberg formation.

"It's part of a natural cycle, but it's still very interesting and impressive to see up close," NASA scientist Michael Studinger said at the time of the October discovery.

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