Thursday 10 December 2020

The trillion ton gigantic iceberg the size of Delaware - dubbed A68a is on a collision course with the South Georgia Island in the South Atlantic and it could be just days away: Scientists say a collision could devastate wildlife including penguins, seals and albatross

The unassuming white blob in the image loop above is actually the largest iceberg in the world. The GOES-East satellite captured this time-lapsed imagery of the massive ice block floating in the southern Atlantic Ocean over a three-week period from Nov. 17 through Dec. 7, 2020.

An enormous trillion ton iceberg is heading towards South Georgia Island in the southern Atlantic, where scientists say a collision could devastate wildlife including penguins, seals and albatross is imminent. Scientists have spent weeks watching this climate-related event unfold, as the iceberg - about the same size as the island itself - has meandered and advanced over two years since breaking off from the Antarctic Peninsula in July of 2017.

The peninsula is one of the fastest-warming places on Earth, registering a record high temperature of 20.75 degrees Celsius (69.35 degrees Fahrenheit) on February 9. The warming has scientists concerned about ice melt leading to higher sea levels worldwide. The gigantic iceberg - dubbed A68a - is on a path to collide with the South Georgia Island, a remote British overseas territory of South America. Whether that collision is days or weeks away is unclear, though, as the iceberg has sped up and slowed down with the ocean currents along the way, said Geraint Tarling, a biological oceanographer with the British Antarctic Survey who has been tracking the icy mass.

Credit RSOE Alert Map

A collision is still uncertain, as the currents could carry the iceberg past the island, Tarling said. "The currents around the island are complex, and it is still possible it may miss," Tarling said. Images captured by a British Royal Air Force aircraft and released on Tuesday show the magnitude of the monstrous, 4,200-square-kilometre (1,627-square-mile) iceberg, its surface carved with tunnels, cracks and fissures. A number of smaller ice chunks can be seen floating nearby. "The sheer size of the A68a iceberg means it is impossible to capture its entirety in one single shot," British officials said in a statement. Scientists fear the iceberg, in hitting the island, could crush marine life on the seafloor. Should its lodge at the island's flank, it could block penguins and seals off from their normal forage routes to feed their young. A68a could also be an obstacle to government ships conducting fishery patrols and surveillance around South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British officials said.

Climate Change 2020

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Anonymous said...

Maybe South Georia Island will flip over??? Says US Rep Hank Johnson:) Buhh Haaaaaa!!!!!!!!

Reetah Hanson 69 said...

Thanks for the laugh!
I often laugh about Hank's remark.

Anonymous said...

Warmer weather means a longer growing season, good for you, good for me. I'm leaving my Hummer idling in the drive way 24/7.