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Is Antarctica up for another massive break up?
A massive branch in a huge crack on one of Antarctica's largest ice shelves suggests so.

The crack was observed on May 1 from satellite images by researchers from a UK-based Antarctic research project. The project that is studying Antarctica is based at Swansea University and Aberystwyth University.

Scientists have cautioned that it might be now just a matter of time before up to 2,000 square miles of ice breaks away.

Professor Adrian Luckman of Swansea University College of Science, head of Project Midas, said that while the previous rift tip has not yet advanced but the recent development has initiated a new branch of the rift. The length of the rift is approximately 10 km behind the previous tip and is presently heading towards the ice-front.

The shelf known as Larsen C ice shelf had developed about 111 miles long rift and continued to advance in recent years. Recently, it had stopped extending in length but only to widen and grow deeper.

"We have previously shown that the new configuration will be less stable than it was before the rift, and that Larsen C may eventually follow the example of its neighbour Larsen B, which disintegrated in 2002 following a similar rift-induced calving event," Luckman said in a statement.

The main rift in the Larsen C ice shelf is 180 km long while as the new branch of the rift is 15 km long.

Scientists have suggested that the break off could lead to the creation of a 2000 square mile slab of ice. This will be the largest ice breaks that has ever been recorded.

This development comes at a time when the world leadership is turning a blind eye towards climate change and the factors affecting it. The recent ice-break should be an eye opener especially for countries such as the United States that have, with the new government in place, been denying the existence of climate change.

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