Bud Ward Wednesday, July 12, 2017
It was inevitable … a question not of If, but of When. Now that the Delaware-size iceberg has calved, scientists begin to explore what comes next.
The countdown – you could think of it as a death watch – had been going on for weeks, months and years in the case of glaciologists and avid climate change and Antarctica experts and geeks.
It was complete with all but an on-screen CNN-type minute-by-minute countdown clock. That would be impossible given the relative imprecision of the “hours, days, or weeks” best estimates of precisely when the closely-watched Larsen C ice shelf would rip free and be cast aside. (Rhode Island got off easy this time, with popular size comparison references in this case pointing not to the “Ocean State” but to the “First State” of Delaware.)
The end itself, inevitable for all but lacking the exact ETD (expected time of departure) was first announced in early morning East Coast time July 12, as officially determined by the Project MIDAS United Kingdom-based research group most closely tracking the Larsen C ice shelf’s calving of “one of the largest icebergs on record.”