A large iceberg has broken off from Pine Island Glacier on the edge of Antarctica, according to satellite images shared by the European Space Agency.

The ESA said the iceberg measures 300 square kilometres, and following its split from the glacier "quickly shattered into pieces."

By comparison, Co Dublin measures 922 square kilometres.

The World Meteorological Organization said last week that a research base in Antarctica had recorded the hottest temperature ever for the continent - 18.3C, as global warming causes an increase in melting of the ice sheets around the south pole.

Scientists believe global warming has caused so much melting at the south pole that the giant ice sheet is now on course to disintegrate. This would see an eventual global sea level rise of at least three meters over centuries.