Pine Island Glacier’s Newest Iceberg


Iceberg B-49 calved from the Antarctic glacier in February 2020.

In a waiting game spanning several months of 2019 and 2020, scientists watched cracks grow across the tongue of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. It was a matter of when, not if, the glacier would finally spawn a new iceberg—or in this case, many icebergs.

The waiting ended on February 9, 2020, when radar images showed that numerous icebergs had detached from the glacier and were floating in Pine Island Bay. The largest piece, Iceberg B-49, is about twice the size of Washington D.C. It is the only piece large enough to be named by the U.S. National Ice Center.

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Image via NASA Earth Observatory