The world’s largest iceberg is on the move again after more than 30 years of being stranded

The world’s largest iceberg is on the move again after more than 30 years of being stranded
The giant iceberg A23a, the largest and longest-lived in the world, has begun moving across the Southern Ocean after 30 long years. Image: Copernicus/Sentinel-3.
Paula Bueno Paula Bueno 5 minutes

After a long sleep that lasted more than 30 years, A23a, the world’s largest iceberg, has finally moved again A new journey began across the ocean surrounding Antarctica, according to observations made via satellite images British Antarctic Survey.

With approx 4 thousand square kilometersThe A23a glacier is about three times the size of New York City and is 400 meters thick. In addition to being the largest in the world, A23a is also the longest lastingsince then 37 years of life.

Its journey began in 1986, when the iceberg broke off from the Filchner Ice Shelf in Antarctica. But shortly after it broke up, the iceberg drifted to the bottom of the Weddell Sea and remained there for many years. At the time of separation There was a Soviet research station on this mass of iceDruzhnaya 1, which had to be emptied before the glacier broke.

in 2020 The first movements of the iceberg were observed, which appears to have begun to separate from the ocean floor, but has not moved much. In the Last year the iceberg broke off a little and started drifting. According to scientists, the iceberg may have decreased slightly in size and gained more buoyancy, allowing it to break free from the ocean floor.

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But it was us In recent months, the iceberg has begun to shift and move faster, driven by the region’s strong winds and ocean currents. Iceberg A23a is now sailing around the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Where is this giant iceberg headed?

Scientists now believe that as the iceberg continues to accelerate along its path, it… It will be captured by the Antarctic CurrentA, heading towards the Atlantic Ocean and can Directed towards a path called “Ice Alley”where other icebergs can be found floating adrift in the ocean.

According to scientists from British Antarctic SurveyIt’s rare to see icebergs as large as A23a moving, which is why all scientists are closely monitoring the path of this ice giant!

By following this path, Iceberg A23a could reach South Georgia IslandThere are many icebergs floating around the coast. In fact, it is very likely that this huge iceberg will become stuck on the island again, which could lead to this Huge environmental problemWhich disrupts the life and reproduction of millions of seals, penguins and seabirds that live on the island.

Another possibility is that A23a follows the same path as another giant iceberg, 2020’s A68Which also threatened South Georgia Island, but before it got there Break into several smaller pieces. Another possible path is that the A23a iceberg, because it is so large and can last longer before melting, could sail longer in the Southern Ocean and could head north towards South Africa, where it could cause disruptions to maritime transport.

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