A23a, the world’s largest iceberg, leaves Antarctica. After three decades, the ice block, almost eight times larger than Warsaw, began to drift towards the Atlantic. Its enormity is shown by a recording that scientists made during Wednesday’s expedition.
– This iceberg is one of the oldest icebergs in Antarctica, and currently also the largest. It broke away from the ice shelf in 1986, said glaciologist Olivier Marsh of the British Antarctic Survey. Over the following years, its movements were negligible and it remained “anchored” in the bottom mud in the Weddell Sea. Scientists have been observing a gradual increase in the pace of its movement for three years. It has accelerated rapidly in recent months under the influence of winds and sea currents. It is currently passing the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Almost eight times larger than Warsaw
A23a covers an area of approximately four thousand square kilometers and is the largest iceberg in the world. For comparison, the area occupied by Warsaw it is almost eight times smaller. The thickness of the ice is 400 meters, which is almost twice as high as the height of the Palace of Culture and Science.
As the glaciologist emphasized, it is rare to have the opportunity to observe an iceberg of this size in motion, so he assured that scientists will closely monitor its trajectory.
Seals, penguins and other seabirds may be in trouble
Experts predict that the mountain may settle near South Georgia, a British island in the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean.
This could cause problems for millions of seals, penguins and other seabirds whose feeding routes could be disrupted.
Main photo source: Reuters/Lindy Elkins-Tanton