REMOTE PLACESAntarctica couldn't be farther away
but what occurs there shall certainly affect us | So it is with interest that I ponder the progress of the giant iceberg known only as B15a | That's it in the upper center of the picture, shaped rather like a giant aircraft carrier ony much, much
larger | Measuring around 115 kilometres in length with an area exceeding 2500 square kilometres, the B-15A iceberg is the world’s largest free-floating object | It is the largest remaining section of the even larger B-15 iceberg that calved from the Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000 before breaking up into smaller sections |
The European Space Agency has been monitoring B-15A
as well | ESA is, in fact, the source for the photo on the left | Their site has more photos to look upon |
What is it, you ask, that make's B-15A special? According to the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) "...the most likely scenario is that B15 will gradually move away from the ice shelf and drift north-west across the Ross Sea, passing Cape Adare, then drifting with the "East Wind Drift" to the west round Antarctica close to the coast....
ACE_CRC further reports that: "The passage of B15 around Antarctica may take many years. Eventually it will join an ocean current moving northwards away from Antarctica and into the southern part of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current which will carry it eastwards.
The site further notes that B-15A "...once it moves into warmer waters the iceberg may take many months or even a year or two to break up and melt. This estimate of the timing is quite speculative because it depends on many factors, including ocean temperature, etc. It is unlikely that there will be considerable melt while the iceberg(s) remains in the cold waters close to the coast
. But... the immense length of B15 makes it quite unlike other icebergs, and difficult to predict its behaviour.
I'll be updating this, so come back if this piques your interest |