Gigantic Iceberg Drifting off Antarctica towards Australia
Nine years ago a 54 square-mile (about 1,700 km) iceberg broke of an Antarctic ice shelf. Today, almost ten years later, this gigantic chunk of ice is drifting towards western Australia while similarly large icebergs have also been spotted off the coast of New Zealand. While the iceberg was “trapped” for several years east of the Mertz Glacier, it recentlybegan its latest drift northeast.
It’s been more than a 100 years since such a big iceberg ever drifted so far away from Antarctica. Scientists are expecting that has the huge iceberg enters warmer waters it will break down in smaller pieces and eventually melt.
In the satellite photo look for B17B, the iceberg that is now drifting toward Australia. “B17B is a very significant one in that it has drifted so far north while still largely intact,” said Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist Neal Young. “It’s one of the biggest sighted at those latitudes.”
Although researchers aren’t sure whether this iceberg migration is part of a natural cycle, or has been affected by recent climate change, it is impressive and makes you wonder what if they all broke down and melted into the sea?
By Murielle Hermans