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Massive Antarctic Iceberg Heads for Open Ocean


Science & Tech  (tags: research, science, discovery, Antarctica, iceberg, glacier, world, environment )

Michael
- 1848 days ago - cbc.ca
Scientists are monitoring an iceberg covering about 660 square kilometres and up to half a kilometre thick -- one of the largest now in existence -- that broke off from an Antarctic glacier and is heading into the open ocean.



   

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Comments

Michael O (176)
Saturday April 26, 2014, 7:13 am
NASA glaciologist Kelly Brunt said on Wednesday that the iceberg, known as B31, separated from Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier last November.

"It's one that's large enough that it warrants monitoring," Brunt said in a telephone interview, noting that U.S. government organizations including the National Ice Center keep an eye on dozens of icebergs at any given time.

The iceberg's present location is not in an area heavily navigated by ships.

"There's not a lot of shipping traffic down there. We're not particularly concerned about shipping lanes. We know where all the big ones are," she said.

Scientists are especially interested in this iceberg not only because of its size but because it originated in an unexpected location, said Brunt.

"It's like a large sheet cake floating through the Southern Ocean," she added.

The glacial crack that created the iceberg was first detected in 2011, according to Brunt, a scientist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Morgan State University in Maryland.

Pine Island Glacier has been closely studied over the past two decades because it has been thinning and draining rapidly and may be an important contributor to sea level rise, scientists say.

They say the iceberg has floated across Pine Island Bay, a basin of the Amundsen Sea, and will likely be swept up soon in the swift currents of the Southern Ocean.

"We are doing some research on local ocean currents to try to explain the motion properly. It has been surprising how there have been periods of almost no motion, interspersed with rapid flow," iceberg researcher Grant Bigg of the University of Sheffield in England said in a statement from NASA Earth Observatory.

"There were a couple of occasions early on when there might have been partial grounding or collisions with the sea floor, as B31 bounced from one side of the bay to the other," Bigg said.
 

Jonathan Smithsonian (3)
Saturday April 26, 2014, 7:36 am
noted
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday April 26, 2014, 8:00 am
WOW besides the gigantic scary size--it's absolutely beautiful...tho not good. Thx Michael
 

Mary Boorman (10)
Saturday April 26, 2014, 5:11 pm
SOME PEOPLE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT GLOBAL WARMING IS A CONSPIRACY THEORY AND THAT GLACIERS HAVE BEEN CALVING AND RE-FORMING FOR MILENNIA BUT, THE TOP SCIENTISTS CAN SHOW WITH TIME-LAPSE PHOTOGRAPHY AND COMPARATIVE PHOTOS AND SATELLITE DATA OVER THE PAST 100 YEARS OR MORE THAN THINGS ARE MOST DEFINITELY SPEEDING UP. I AM NOT GOING TO STAND THERE HANDS ON HIPS AND ARGUE THE POINT WITH
AN ICE BERG WHEN IT COMES INTO MY BAY ARE YOU?
 

Nelson Baker (0)
Saturday April 26, 2014, 6:33 pm
The Republicans and their billionaire backers say there is no global warming so I guess that can't be the reason for the iceberg.
 

Nimue Michelle Pendragon Gaze (339)
Saturday April 26, 2014, 8:04 pm
Beautiful. Scary. Ominous.
 

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Saturday April 26, 2014, 8:57 pm
Fascinating and stunning.
 

Athena F (131)
Sunday April 27, 2014, 1:14 am
:(
 

Tanya W (65)
Sunday April 27, 2014, 4:29 am
Absolutely gorgeous and just plain scary! Global warming in action!!!
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday April 27, 2014, 10:46 am
Oh yay oh yay..iceburg salad any one :) Topped with mumified remains.:) and Bishopric's treasure.:)
 
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