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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Giant Icebergs on the Move Pose a Threat to Shipping and the Environment

At 135km long and 25km wide, it is the largest floating iceberg on the planet – twice the size of Greater London – and is heading toward South Georgia.

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has warned that two massive icebergs could pose a threat to maritime shipping and the environment.

One of these icebergs, which calved from the Brunt Ice Shelf in late January is now floating approximately 150km away from its origin. It broke free when a large crack in the ice extended across the entire ice shelf. BAS said the iceberg is the size of Greater London. This iceberg is expected to follow the Antarctic Coastal Current around the Weddell Sea as with previous icebergs.

Another massive iceberg on the run is part of an iceberg that began life after calving from the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in mid-May 2021. As it traveled north, the iceberg broke into three pieces, the largest of which is called A76A. At 135km long and 25km wide, it is the largest floating iceberg on the planet – twice the size of Greater London – and is heading toward South Georgia.

As the iceberg reaches shallower waters, BAS says there is potential for disruption to the local wildlife around South Georgia and the nearby Shag Rocks. If the iceberg grounds on the shallow seabed in the region it could destroy fauna across the seafloor and disrupt the ocean currents and foraging routes of the local wildlife.

As well as the ecological impact, icebergs in the South Georgia region can present a great risk to local vessels.

“Our major concern at the moment is the possible risk for vessels operating in the region as the iceberg begins to break up and calve smaller chunks of ice,” Dr Mark Belchier from the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands said, adding that there is still uncertainty around the iceberg’s movements and direction.

Read more at the British Antarctic Survey

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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