Scientists Cautious As Earth’s Biggest Iceberg Drifts & Paces Towards South Georgia Islands

Image - NASA Earth / Twitter

Climate Change is real and it is more than evident ever now. 2020 has been the year of floods, cyclones, earthquakes & forest fires, but come December and another disaster is knocking on our doors. The biggest Iceberg on Earth, Iceberg A-68A has drifted from Antarctica and is collapsing, moving closer towards the South Georgia islands with every passing day.

South Georgia, a remote island in the southern Atlantic Ocean is home to several penguins and seals. Scientists around the world are watching to see what the berg will do next, if it continues to move in the same direction, it is expected to collide with South Georgia and destroy several habitats.

The biggest concern is that the iceberg has approached the edge of the island’s submarine shelf—an area where waters become relatively shallow, measuring less than 200 meters deep.

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In another case, if the iceberg snags the seafloor and becomes grounded, the iceberg could have a drastic effect on the island’s wildlife, such as the ability for penguins to access food.
As per NASA’s report, on November 5, 2020, the enormous block of ice (A-68A) floated about 500 kilometers offshore, five weeks later, the berg was poised less than 100 kilometers offshore on December 14.

The report also mentions that , “ In recent days, a clockwise rotation has appeared to move one end of the berg over the shelf and into shallow waters. Klaus Strübing, a scientist with the International Ice Charting Group (IICWG), thinks the iceberg might already be grounded. He reported that as of December 13, part of the iceberg was in waters just 76 meters deep”.

Now, it’s left upon the time to dictate the path of the iceberg, whether A-68A will stall on the shelf, or if the region’s complex ocean currents will carry the berg back out to sea and around the island.

A-68A was first broken from Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf in July 2017.

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