An iceberg that covers 255 square miles has drifted far from its origin and soon may interfere with the shipping lanes during the winter in the Antarctic. An iceberg this size will not melt anytime soon, it could be around for a good year, according to CNN News on April 22.
The scientific name for this iceberg is B31 and it is almost twice the size of Atlanta. The ice is almost a third of a mile thick, so this chunk of frozen water is a force to be reckoned with. During the long weeks of darkness during the Antarctic winter, scientists worry that they will find it difficult to track.
The crack that eventually created B31 as an entity all on its own was first spotted in 2011. Satellite images showed the iceberg completely severe from Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier in November of 2013. B31 drifted out of the bay at Pine Island and then made its way to the Amundsen Sea, which is on the western side of the Antarctica continent.
Soon the iceberg will float into the Southern Ocean. This is where the difficulty in tracking this big piece of floating ice begins. Darkness covers this neck of the globe for weeks during the Antarctic winter and the iceberg will lay under a blanket of darkness and not seen with satellite images.
According to the Epoch Times today, the iceberg floating into the shipping lanes is worrisome for the researchers. They will follow the progress of this huge floating ice chunk, but during weeks of darkness in the winter this task is difficult.
The last thing you want near shipping lanes is an iceberg that can’t be tracked for weeks at a time. One of the world’s most famous maritime tragedies took place when a ship hit an iceberg. Most are very acquainted with what that iceberg did to the Titanic. Icebergs are not forgiving when it comes to collisions with ships!
Robert Marsh, a scientist at the University of Southampton in England expects this iceberg to stay intact for up to a year. B15 was another iceberg, which was about the size of Connecticut. It broke off in 2000 and even though it melted, pieces of this huge iceberg still float in the Antarctic today. B15 was the largest iceberg to ever break off and set adrift.