Explained: Why is that the giant Antarctic iceberg A68a a cause for concern?
The giant iceberg A68, the most important block of free-floating ice from Antarctica with a neighborhood of about 5,800 sq. km, has been drifting within the Atlantic since 2017. This year, thanks to an current , the iceberg was propelled into the South Atlantic Ocean and since then it’s been drifting towards the remote sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, prompting fears about the impact the iceberg could wear the island’s abundant wildlife.
Icebergs travel with ocean currents and either get trapped in shallow waters or ground themselves.
What is the enormous iceberg A68a and where is it headed?
A68a, an iceberg roughly the dimensions of the state of Delaware, split faraway from Antarctica’s Larsen C shelf ice in July 2017. Since then it’s been drifting towards the remote island of South Georgia, which may be a British Overseas Territory (BOT).
On its journey, smaller icebergs have calved from the iceberg and immediately , the most important section of the iceberg is named A68a and spans a neighborhood of roughly 2,600 sq. km. Last week, the US National Ice Center (USNIC) (USNIC is liable for naming icebergs, which are named consistent with the Antarctic quadrant during which they’re spotted) confirmed that two new icebergs calved from A68a and were large enough to be named and tracked. they’re called A68E and A68F.
The fear is that if the iceberg grounds itself near the island, it could cause disruption to the local wildlife that forages within the ocean. As per ecologists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS), which can launch a search mission to review A68a’s impact on the ecosystem next month, if the iceberg gets stuck near the island, it could mean that penguins and seals will need to travel farther in search of food, and for a few this might mean that they don’t revisit in time to stop their offspring from starving to death.
during this recent handout photo provided by the Ministry of Defense on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, fragments fall from the A68d iceberg that had broken faraway from the northern a part of its parent berg the A68a and is now roughly 30 nautical miles faraway from South Georgia within the South Atlantic . (AP)
On the opposite hand, there are some positives of an iceberg being stuck within the open ocean, since icebergs carry dust which fertilises ocean plankton, which pulls up CO2 from the atmosphere.