Phát hiện “thành phố băng trôi” khổng lồ ở Nam Cực


Tảng băng trôi khổng lồ được các nhà khoa học đặt tên là B-46, có diện tích lên tới 225km2, lớn hơn cả khu vực Manhattan (New York, Mỹ), theo ước tính của US National Ice Center.

B-46 được các chuyên gia thuộc Chiến dịch IceBridge của NASA phát hiện vào cuối tháng 10/2018 khi vỡ ra từ sông băng đảo Pine, thuộc Nam Cực.

Theo NASA, tảng băng khổng lồ này có thể không tồn tại lâu. (Ảnh: Brooke Medley/NASA).

Đây là một phần trong chiến dịch dài hơi của NASA nhằm thu thập số liệu về băng trôi, sông băng và những khu vực quan trọng trong các thềm băng trên Trái đất.

Trước đó, vết nứt tạo nên B-46 lần đầu tiên được các nhà khoa học chú ý vào cuối tháng 9/2018 và chỉ khoảng một tháng sau đó tảng băng mới chính thức vỡ ra.

Tuy nhiên, theo NASA, tảng băng khổng lồ này có thể không tồn tại lâu. Thông qua những hình ảnh thu được từ vệ tinh và các máy bay của IceBridge, B-46 bắt đầu xuất hiện dấu hiệu tan vỡ.

Trước đó chỉ ít ngày, NASA cũng tiết lộ rằng các chuyên gia thuộc IceBridge đã phát hiện ra một tảng băng trôi khổng lồ có hình dáng vô cùng đặc biệt ở Nam Cực trong một chuyến bay nghiên cứu hôm 16/10.

Tảng băng trôi có hình thang với ba cạnh vuông vức, có kích thước 900×1.500m được cho là được “sinh ra” tại thềm băng Larsen C, vào tháng 7/2017 từ tảng băng A-68 khổng lồ có kích thước lên tới trên 5.000km2.

Sông băng đảo Pine “sinh ra” các tảng băng trôi cỡ lớn với chu kỳ trung bình sáu năm một lần. Tuy nhiên, trong những năm gần đây tần suất xuất hiện này đang rút ngắn một cách nhanh chóng với những tảng băng trôi cỡ lớn được ghi nhận vào các năm 2013, 2015, 2017 và 2018.

Đảo Pine và Thwaites là hai trong số sáu sông băng ở Nam Cực. Theo nghiên cứu của NASA, hai sông băng này là nguyên nhân của khoảng 1mm nước biển dâng toàn cầu trong mỗi thập kỷ, với lượng băng tan chảy qua sông băng đang tăng cao trong những năm gần đây.

Theo một nghiên cứu khác của các nhà khoa học thuộc Đại học Leeds (Anh), mực nước biển đang dâng cao nhanh gấp ba lần trong 25 năm qua vì hiện tượng nóng lên toàn cầu.

Các nhà khoa học ước tính lượng băng mất đi ở Nam cực đã khiến mực nước biển tăng lên gần 8mm kể từ năm 1992, trong đó 40% mức tăng này xảy ra trong năm năm qua.


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