News media have been focused on a massive iceberg, apparently equal in area to the state of Delaware, that has broken free from the Larsen C ice shelf -- the largest of Antarctica. It is now freely floating in the sea surrounding the continent. The area of the iceberg is approximately 2,300 square miles (6,000 square kilometers). Even though massive in size, the calving off of the ice will not affect global sea levels because the ice was already floating on water when it broke off, according to an expert.
British glaciologist Adrian Luckman said, according to AP, that there have been icebergs of this magnitude in the past. He said that the current iceberg is “in the Top 10, maybe possibly in the Top 5.”
Scientists noticed a massive crack in the Larsen C ice shelf back in 2014, which grew rapidly. By last week, only an approximately 3-mile long sliver of ice was left to connect the berg to the ice shelf. Icebergs frequently calf, or break apart, and reflect the natural life cycle of any ice shelf, say experts. In 1956, a US Navy icebreaker reported that it was largest iceberg ever seen. It measured 208 miles long by 60 miles wide. It was thus approximately five times the size of the iceberg that was reported on Wednesday.
Environmentalists have seized upon the news of the iceberg from Larsen C to advance their agenda about global climate change and the environment. "We don't need a ‘red team' to tell us. #Climatechange is already redrawing maps and taking a toll on our planet," tweeted Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware. He is the head Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Meanwhile, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has offered to create a military-style "red team" process to test assumptions and apply it to climate change. In a Reuters interview, Pruitt said, "There are lots of questions that have not been asked and answered [about climate change]." Pruitt said "Who better to do that than a group of scientists ... getting together and having a robust discussion for all the world to see." Pruitt said.
The idea has bipartisan support. It was originally suggested by a former Obama administration EPA official, Steve Koonin, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Facing questions about its environmental policy, the Trump team picked it up.
The law requires that Americans be protected from harmful pollutants like methane. Scott Pruitt can't ignore the law https://t.co/JNJXBISoLi— Senator Tom Carper (@SenatorCarper) July 3, 2017
Red and blue teams would challenge and defend scientific data regarding climate change. It was Energy Secretary Rick Perry who suggested the idea at a budget hearing in June, having cited Koonin. Pruitt latterly proposed it as a way of settling the debate over how human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels, affects the temperature of Earth.