An iceberg with a surface area of 1,668 square miles has broken off Antarctica.
The chunk of ice measures greater than the state of Rhode Island, or is about 70 times larger than Manhattan, and is now floating in the Weddell Sea, CBS News reported.
It broke from the west side of the Ronne Ice Shelf, CNN reported.
It’s the 76th iceberg tracked by the U.S. National Ice Center.
A-76 isn’t the only large iceberg that is floating in the area. A-23A is 1,306 square miles and is now the second-largest iceberg in the world, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, A68a which had been the world’s largest was being tracked to hit a remote South Atlantic island in November but broke up before it arrived.
The process in which the icebergs break from Antarctica is called calving, and research glaciologist Ted Scambos said it’s part of a natural cycle, and in the case of A-76, not due to climate change.
He believes A-76 will break into two or three pieces soon, Reuters reported.
It was already floating in the sea before the ice shelf broke, so it will have no impact on sea levels, Scambos told Reuters.
CNN likened it to when you have ice in a drink, and the level of liquid in the glass does not raise as the ice melts.
But some believe that the frequent rapid disintegration of massive icebergs could be connected to global warming, adding that there are researchers watching Antarctica and are warning that the area is becoming unstable because of warming temperatures, adjustments in the ocean and changes in atmospheric currents.
“What might not be natural is the rate at which it is happening, the acceleration of the process. That is where we see what might be our human influence,” Aleksandra Mazur explained to National Geographic in 2019, according to USA Today.