By Katy Gill
A British PhD student has captured new research footage of an iceberg that weighs a staggering trillion tonnes and is quadruple the size of London has been recorded by a British PhD student during the first science flight over the newly detached iceberg.
Ella Gilbert, a PhD Antarctic research student from London, UK, filmed the world’s first ever research footage of the newly-detached A68 iceberg after it broke off from the Antarctica Peninsula in late 2017, resulting in the ice shelf losing 12 percent of its size.
The detached A68 iceberg is said to measure a whopping 5,800-square-kilometer – the size of Delaware, Norfolk, a quarter of Wales, two Luxembourgs, four Londons, or six Manhattans.
The British Antarctic Survey are the first to conduct a science flight in the hope to understand greenhouse gasses between the ocean and the atmosphere.
The footage that was filmed in December 2017 during a six week campaign, featuring picturesque snowy mountain tops; the Larsen C Ice Shelf that replicates ‘The Wall’ from Game of Thrones; and the smaller icebergs spawned floating on top of the -10 degree Celsius deep blue ocean.
Ella said: “This experience was mind-blowing and the most incredible thing I’ve ever done in my entire life, most certainly as a scientist.
“I was part of an atmospheric research campaign measuring the exchange of heat, energy and greenhouse gases between the top layer of the ocean and the bottom layer of the atmosphere. This will help us understand melting icecaps a little better.
“I care deeply about this because greenhouse gases are responsible for causing climate change, just like carbon dioxide.
“We saw the widening gap between Larsen C and the A68 iceberg as the berg slowly drifted away, creating smaller sized icebergs in the process.
“It’s the only science flight that’s ever been done since the A68 iceberg broke off.
“We flew in the gap between the ice shelf and the new iceberg to measure what was going on over this newly exposed bit of ocean, which has been covered with ice for probably 100,000 years.”
“It didn’t quite sink in until afterwards that we were the first and only team to conduct research there.
“It is amazing knowing that we made history – I was the only person filming, so to my knowledge, this is the first and only direct footage of A68.