New Antarctic Iceberg
Is Bigger Than Delaware
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A giant iceberg -- bigger than the state of Delaware -- has broken off an Antarctic ice shelf.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that the berg, named A-38, broke off the Ronne Ice Shelf and is floating adjacent to the shelf.
The iceberg is 92 miles (148 km) long and about 30 miles (48 km) wide with an area of 2,751 square miles (7,125 sq. km). Delaware has an area of 2,044 square miles (5,294 sq. km).
The new iceberg was sighted by Mary Keller, a scientist at the National Ice Center in Suitland, Maryland, using satellite data.
Ice shelves are massive, floating sheets of snow ice that circle Antarctica. Some scientists believe that the breaking off, or calving, of icebergs may be an indicator of global warming. The last known iceberg of this size to calve off a Southern Hemisphere Ice Shelf was B-9 in the Ross Sea in October 1987. Iceberg names are derived from the Antarctic quadrant in which they are originally sighted.
Quadrant A includes the Bellinghausen and Weddell seas and the peninsula extending toward the tip of South America.


Antarctica Not
Shrinking Scientists Say

LONDON (Reuters) - Fears that the icy wastes of Antarctica are shrinking and causing the sea level to rise dangerously are misplaced, scientists said on Thursday. The team of British, Dutch and American scientists from University College London, who have been measuring the continent's ice sheet for the last five years, concluded that most of the ice stored there was "very stable."
"The icy continent now looks an unlikely source of rising global sea level this century, making thermal expansion of the ocean due to global warming, and the shrinking of mountain glaciers, more likely causes," Professor Duncan Wingham, leader of the scientific research team, said.
Such is the rate at which the world's oceans are rising that millions of homes near sea level could be underwater in two centuries if current predictions are correct, Wingham said.
His team of scientists used space satellites to determine whether the thickness of the Antarctic ice sheet had changed over a five-year period between 1992 and 1996.
They found that the Antarctic ice sheet had changed on average by less than 1 cm (0.4 inches) a year and calculated that melting within the ice sheet interior had contributed only 1.7 cm to sea level rise this century.
The sea level this century has risen 18 cm over the past 100 years, Wingham said, adding that scientists in the past have blamed the Antarctic for some 14 cm of that overall change.
"Sceintists have never really understood the role the Antarctica has played in this century's rising sea level. Our research makes it likely that the answer is 'very little'," the British scientist said.