Iceberg the size of Washington DC breaks off Antarctic glacier (PHOTOS)

Iceberg the size of Washington DC breaks off Antarctic glacier (PHOTOS)
A huge iceberg measuring 185 square kilometers (72 square miles) has calved from Pine Island Glacier - one of the main outlets where ice from the West Atlantic Ice Sheet flows into the ocean.

The iceberg, named B-44, which is about the same size as Washington D.C., broke away from the glacier’s floating ice shelf sometime between September 21, when a rift was clearly visible in an picture captured by the Operational Land Imager, and September 23, when the complete break was seen in radar imagery.

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The Pine Glacier has been calving more large icebergs recently. It’s long record of stability was interrupted in 2001, 2007, 2013 and 2015 - the latter in July of that year when it spawned a 583-square-kilometer (225-square-mile) berg.

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The most recent berg has been attributed to warming ocean waters eroding the base of the floating ice tongue, according to Adrian Luckman, a scientist with Project Midas, a British Antarctic research group who spoke to USA Today, however it “usually difficult to pinpoint climate change as the culprit for icebergs” in general said Luckman.