Iceberg A68a has been making its way ahead and is on a slow journey and is moving towards cataclysm.
This huge mass broke from the Larsen C ice shelf of Antarctic peninsula’s in the month of July in the year 2017 and then started heading slowly towards the open ocean. It has been sliding through the water for over the past two years until it got hit to the powerful Antarctic Circumpolar Current that was circling the southernmost continent.
And then, with full speed it started moving like a speed skater, it was on its way moving constantly. The current crossed the berg on a fast track and that’s what the scientists called it as “iceberg alley,” that is a northeast route and which is travelled by little pieces of ice that break from the peninsula.
More than 90% of all the icebergs got split and shed from Antarctica and that ended up traveling a near-coastal current, this current moves clockwise around the Antarctica before hitting to the Weddell Gyre and accelerating around to the Antarctic Circumpolar Current moving in the opposite direction.
A68a broke off as having a 5,800-square-kilometer mass behind that gyre, however, on the eastern side of the Antarctic peninsula. Still, the path it has taken and is about to enroute is not uncommon. As the face of the Larsen C ice shelf has got disintegrated in the recent years, other bergs have also been traced having the similar route as A68a.
Geraint Tarling, who’s a biological oceanographer with the British Antarctic Survey said that Normally they’d expect these icebergs to break apart in the open ocean because of all the wave action and turbulence. But this didn’t happen for A68a. It’s now heading straight towards South Georgia Island, a British overseas territory in the southern Atlantic, where within few upcoming days it could smash into the remote world teeming with wildlife.
Tarling told Reuters this week that It is really very close, it’s almost less than 50 kilometers away and will be making a collision almost inevitable,.
Scientists expect that the iceberg will grind over the seabed and will also be crushing the island’s underwater life.
Tarling said that If the berg ends up meeting at the island’s flank, it could remain as a fixture for up to next 10 years before the ice starts melting or it breaks away. As a result of this this A68a could block some of the island’s penguins which are around 2 million. It will also include King penguins, Gentoos, Macaronis and Chinstraps – from reaching the waters and also to feed their young ones. The melting freshwater would result into making the waters not appropriate for the phytoplankton and other sea creatures that are crucial parts of the food chain.
Tarling also said that there’s nothing that’s really been that large ever before than this A68a in scientific history that they’ve seen coming up to South Georgia.
The iceberg is said and also been approximated to be larger than 66 countries or territories, which includes Singapore, Luxembourg and Brunei. The iceberg can be compared in size to many well-known islands around the world. A68a is very similar in size and shape as that to Jamaica, it is almost as long as the one of the U.S. territory – Puerto Rico, and dominates China’s Hong Kong Island as well as the Southeast Asian city state of Singapore.
Observers from the British Antarctic Survey told the media that a flight last year over the A68a took about a time of about one and a half hours. They said that the berg is so big, Royal Air Force pilots this week tried to capture it in photograph but were unable to capture it all in one single photograph.