World's largest iceberg melts away

World's largest iceberg A68a melts away after three years, satellite data shows.

Video Transcript

INZAMAM RASHID: It was once the world's largest iceberg. A68 weighed billions of tons, covered an area of nearly 6,000 square kilometers, and was about 230 meters thick. Today, the mega berg has virtually vanished, melted into smaller pieces not worthy of being tracked by scientists.

A68 was carved from an ice shelf on the edge of the Antarctic Peninsula once it broke off in 2017. It hardly moved for a year, before drifting north with increasing speed. The mammoth block of ice even threatened to strike land.

It veered dangerously close to South Georgia, impact which could have been devastating to the island's fragile ecosystem.

ELLA GILBERT: Iceberg carving and breaking away from ice sheets and ice shelves actually happens naturally. So it's not necessarily in and of itself a worrying thing. What is slightly concerning is that if more icebergs are breaking away and they disintegrate and collapse, that could lead to an acceleration of the glaciers that feed into them. And that would contribute to sea level rise.

INZAMAM RASHID: Even in the midst of a global pandemic, climate change is very much still on the political agenda. China and the United States, the world's largest carbon polluters, put diplomatic tensions aside, and pledged a joint commitment to tackling the issue.

JOHN KERRY: Countries are simply not getting the job done. Even if we did everything that we set out to do in the Paris Agreement, the Earth's temperature is going to increase a very significant amount, perhaps as much as 3.7 degrees or more. And the reason-- and the reason for the real urgency now is that because we're not getting done what we said we'd do in Paris, it's actually heading towards 4 degrees or more. That's beyond catastrophic.

INZAMAM RASHID: It simply will not be possible to stabilize climate change unless superpower, super polluters pull much harder. Cooperation between these countries is critical. Without it, these landscapes of natural glacial beauty will quickly deteriorate. Inzamam Rashid, Sky News.