The world's largest iceberg A23a in the coming months will begin to melt rapidly and may disappear, scientists from Russia's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AANII) told reporters.

In mid-November, A23a as a result of drift was dumped in open water in the Southern Ocean. The iceberg has a total area of 4.2 thousand square kilometers, or nearly twice as much as London.

"According to specialists from the Center for Ice and Hydrometeorological Information at AANII, next month it will enter the Scotia Sea, where it will soon cease to exist," the press service of the Russian scientific institution said.

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In September 1986, a large mass of ice broke away from the Filchner Ice Shelf. At the site of secession, three giant icebergs were formed, one of which housed the seasonal Russian research base "Druzhnaya-1". After breaking away from the shelf, the iceberg quickly ran aground in the southern Antarctic Weddell Sea, becoming an icy island. This summer, the iceberg moved for the first time due to the influence of water courses.

During the Antarctic winter, the iceberg moving along the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, thanks to local circulation, traveled a distance of 1118,2070 nautical miles (<>,<> km). During drift the iceberg did not suffer significant area losses.

"It is expected that iceberg A23a will be picked up by ocean currents coming from the Strait of Bransfield to the east, then continue its path along the Southern Orkney Islands and be taken to the Scotia Sea. In the future, it will quite quickly cease to exist as a whole under the influence of wind, waves and warm waters of the Antarctic circumpolar current. However, it cannot yet be ruled out that iceberg A23a may remain in the Weddell Sea system, in which case its life span will be extended by several more years."

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