AuthorTopic: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread  (Read 17757 times)

Offline RE

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Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« on: December 06, 2016, 04:58:52 PM »
Now, wouldn't it be something if say 100 miles worth of Ice Sheet slipped off the Antarctic Continent at once?  the resulting Tsunami would be fucking enormous.  Also, INSTANT sea leavel rise!  Climate Deniers would have a tough tie denying that one.

Use this thread for all melting duscussion.

Kickoff article below.

RE

http://www.livescience.com/57109-antarctic-ice-rift-is-70-miles-long.html

    Live SciencePlanet Earth

70-Mile-Long Crack Opens Up in Anatarctica
By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | December 6, 2016 02:47pm ET


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70-Mile-Long Crack Opens Up in Anatarctica
A huge crack can be seen in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf in this aerial image snapped on Nov. 10, 2016, as part of NASA's IceBridge mission.
Credit: NASA/John Sonntag

An ominous crack in an Antarctic ice shelf as wide as a football field is long takes on an otherworldly beauty in a new aerial image.

Snapped by scientists on NASA's IceBridge mission, the shot shows a rift in Larsen C, an ice shelf that is floating off the Antarctic Peninsula. When the crack eventually spreads across the entire ice shelf, it will create an iceberg the size of the state of Delaware, according to IceBridge. That's around 2,491 square miles (6,451 square kilometers).

As of Nov. 10, when the IceBridge scientists observed this crack, it was 70 miles (112 km) long and more than 300 feet (91 meters) wide. The dark depths of the crack plunge down about a third of a mile (0.5 km), all the way through the ice to the ocean below. [See More Gorgeous Antarctic Images from IceBridge]

According to NASA Ice, an Earth sciences program at NASA, this rift is relatively new — it showed growth on satellite imagery just this year. The U.K.-based Antarctic research group the MIDAS Project first observed the rift in 2014 and has been tracking it ever since.

Larsen C is Antarctica's fourth-largest ice shelf, and it holds back the land-based glaciers just behind it: Once the ice shelf goes, those slow-flowing glaciers have one less barrier in their journey toward the sea. In 2002, the nearby ice shelf Larsen B partially collapsed after showing similar rifting, NASA's Earth Observatory reported earlier this year, when it showed the collapse alongside a satellite image of the growing Larsen C crevasse.

According to the MIDAS Project, the eventual calving of the Delaware-size sheet of ice would remove between 9 percent and 12 percent of Larsen C's surface area and may lead to the crumbling of the entire ice shelf.

Original article on Live Science.
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2016, 07:00:32 PM »
It won't just float away.  It is semi-grounded on hills in the sea floor, with buoyancy taking some of the weight and the hills taking the rest.  Almost none of it is being supported by the tensile strength of the ice mass, which is very low, being sea ice and having loads of little cracks in it.  As the glaciers continue moving downhill, that crack may close up again.
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Offline RE

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2016, 07:18:30 PM »
It won't just float away.  It is semi-grounded on hills in the sea floor, with buoyancy taking some of the weight and the hills taking the rest.  Almost none of it is being supported by the tensile strength of the ice mass, which is very low, being sea ice and having loads of little cracks in it.  As the glaciers continue moving downhill, that crack may close up again.

If a water layer develops between the ground and the ice sheet, it could slip.

RE
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Offline John of Wallan

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2016, 10:04:55 PM »
Official pedant correction:
There is a big difference between the arctic and Antarctic Re.
Please stop interchanging them!

JOW

Offline RE

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2016, 11:07:52 PM »
Official pedant correction:
There is a big difference between the arctic and Antarctic Re.
Please stop interchanging them!

JOW

I'm not interchanging them.

This is an Ice Melt Thread, and applies to BOTH the southern and northern hemispheres.  So, Greenland Ice Sheet melting also applicable in the thread, Ice Free Arctic Ocean also applicable, Andean Glaciers Melting also applicable.  If there is Frozen Water Melting somewhere, this is the thread for it.  Including the Ice Cubes in your Freezer if that goes off.

RE
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Weather buoy near North Pole hits melting point
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2016, 01:45:23 AM »
Another Toasty Day at the North Pole.  Break out the Bikinis!

 

RE

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/12/22/weather-buoy-near-north-pole-hits-melting-point/?utm_term=.32476f5d82ea

Weather buoy near North Pole hits melting point

Weather buoy near North Pole hits melting point

 
 
December 22 at 12:36 PM

(This story has been been updated.)

Santa may need water skis instead of a sleigh this year.

A weather buoy about 90 miles south of the North Pole registered a temperature at the melting point of 32 degrees (0 Celsius) early Thursday, as a giant storm east of Greenland drew abnormally warm air northward.

Weather models had predicted temperatures could get this warm and this buoy, part of the North Pole Environmental Observatory, provides validation.

“It seems likely areas very close to or at the North Pole were at the freezing point” Thursday, said Zachary Labe, a doctoral student researching Arctic climate and weather at the University of California at Irvine.

Data from the buoy (No. 300234064010010, which can be downloaded here) show that air temperatures have risen more than 40 degrees in the past two days, when they hovered near minus-11 degrees (minus-24 Celsius) which, even then, was above average.

The entire Arctic north of 80 degrees, roughly the size of the Lower 48 states, has witnessed a sharp temperature spike reaching levels 30-35 degrees (nearly 20 Celsius) above normal. In reviewing historical records back to 1958, one cannot find a more intense anomaly – except following a similar spike just five weeks ago.

Consider the average temperature in this large region is about minus-20 degrees (minus-29 Celsius) at this time of year, but had shot up to 12 Thursday.

Labe said the huge flux of warmth into the region may have contributed to the loss of sea ice at a time when the region is usually gaining ice.

Near the Franz Joseph Islands east of Svalbard, satellite imagery shows a large mass of ice vanishing over the last day. “This is pretty dramatic,” he tweeted.

 

Data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center indicate the Arctic lost about 57,000 square miles of ice (148,000 square kilometers) in the past day, which is roughly the size of Illinois. Labe cautioned, however, the ice loss data are preliminary and require quality control.

In Longyearbyen, Norway, which is on the island of Svalbard in the Nordic Seas, the high reached 36 degrees Thursday, according to Weather Underground, beating the old daily record of 33 degrees.

Although it is common for large storms to transport large quantities of heat into the high Arctic, inducing large temperature swings, the intensity of warmth — more than 40 degrees above normal — has caught the attention of scientists.

This is the second time in the past five weeks such a steep rise in temperatures has occurred. In mid-November, temperatures averaged over the high Arctic were also about 30-35 degrees above normal.

An analysis from Climate Central, a nonprofit science organization, found that a warm event of comparable intensity to what occurred in November “would have been extremely unlikely in a climate of a century ago” before heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere had grown to current levels.

“If nothing is done to slow climate change, by the time global warming reaches 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), events like this winter would become common at the North Pole, happening every few years,” Climate Central concluded.

A similar spike to the present also occurred last year, when a buoy near the North Pole also showed temperatures at the melting point. This sharp rise motivated a study in the journal Nature, which concluded that the loss of sea ice in the Arctic over time “is making it easier for weather systems to transport this heat polewards.”

While the Arctic witnesses freak temperature rises, the cold air normally positioned there has sloshed southward into Siberia.

Temperatures there have crashed to about 60 degrees below normal, with air temperatures flirting with minus-60.

 

More from the Capital Weather Gang

Abnormally warm Arctic spurs planet to second-warmest November on record

‘Everyone was stunned’: Snow falls in Sahara desert town for first time in 37 years

‘It looks alive’: Watch ice floe smash onto shore at Utah state park

Watch: Drone reveals Lake Michigan lighthouse plastered in ice

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Offline azozeo

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2017, 12:22:44 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/G3r3HzVMLYo&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/G3r3HzVMLYo&fs=1</a>
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
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I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 09:30:43 AM »
2017-01-10 - Humans will drive polar bears to extinction without climate action, feds say:
http://www.yahoo.com/news/humans-drive-polar-bears-extinction-165758210.html

Note: The implication is that we CAN do something to prevent their extinction. We can't even do anything to prevent our OWN extinction, so fat chance that there's anything we can do to save polar bears...
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline agelbert

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2017, 10:16:28 AM »
If you don't want to listen to the frist part abput cannabis, jump to the middle.  8)

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http://www.thomhartmann.com/bigpicture/we-just-passed-dangerous-new-climate-tipping-point

I listened to and watched nearly 4 HOURS of the C-SPAN Tillerson Confirmation Hearings. Our Senators mostly live in an alternate universe where flag waving propaganda about how the US giving aid to all those corrupt countries that abuse our infinite kindness and good intentions is so sad and we have so many enemies and we have to stop terrorism and, interspersed with the occasional concern about whether Tillerson will go after Russia even if Exxon has control of land in Russia the size of Wyoming is, some mild climate change concerns. It's great gallows humor if you like that sort of thing.  :P

Tillerson must have trained Mking on public discourse!  :evil4: I've gotta admit, the guy dances with the best liars around. His body language when Chad came up was the give away that he was nervous. They didn't press him on that DELIBERATE interference against US policy to GUARANTEE Exxon/Chad Dictator sponsored CORRUPTION and Resource theft (of course  ;))).

All that said, he WILL help keep the crazies in Congress from trying to nuke Russia in order to enable the fossil fuel US Government to finish the destructive degradation of the biosphere...

But, hey, it will take longer to overheat than to die from being nuked, right?

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« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 10:37:47 AM by agelbert »
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Offline agelbert

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 01:50:08 PM »
New Report Evaluates Risks of Vessel Traffic in the Bering Sea

Posted On January 12, 2017 by Andrew Hartsig

As Arctic sea ice continues to melt, the Bering Sea—including the narrow Bering Strait—is experiencing more and more ship traffic. As ship traffic increases, so too do the risks, including oil spills, vessel strikes on marine mammals, air pollution, discharge of wastes into the water, and production of underwater noise.

A new report, commissioned by Ocean Conservancy and conducted by Nuka Research and Planning Group LLC, evaluates the risks from vessel traffic in the Bering Strait.

The Bering Sea is used by millions of seabirds, and an array of marine mammals including whales, seals, walruses and polar bears. Alaska Native peoples who live near the Bering Sea depend on its fish and wildlife as a key source of food and to support cultural practices that date back millennia. And the Bering Sea is home to rich commercial fisheries: in 2014, five of the top 10 most valuable commercial fisheries in the United States were based in or near the Bering Sea.

There’s no doubt that these waters are astoundingly abundant, and there is a lot at stake. So what did the risk assessment find about the risks posed by vessel traffic in the Bering Sea? ???

Quote

•Right now, in the Northern Bering Sea and Bering Strait region, most oil exposure and risk is associated with vessels that service the region, primarily delivering fuel and goods to communities or exporting resources from mines. In contrast, in the Southern Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, most oil exposure comes from vessels that are just passing through the region, transiting Great Circle Route.

•“Lightering” (transferring fuel from one ship to another offshore via hoses) is a significant source of risk in the Northern Bering Sea.

•In the future, as more ships transit the Bering Strait, there will be more oil spill exposure.

•Much of the increase in ship traffic is expected to come from bulk carriers and tankers serving resource extraction projects elsewhere in the Arctic. These vessels are a particular concern because they generally use heavy fuel oil—a “persistent” fuel that, if spilled, would be virtually impossible to clean up and would likely have impacts for years. Cruise ship and tourism traffic is also likely to increase in the future.



Fortunately, the risk assessment makes clear that we can take pragmatic steps to reduce the risks from increasing vessel traffic in the Bering Sea. In doing so, we should make use of extensive traditional knowledge from Alaska Natives about the Bering Sea ecosystem to inform the development of mitigation measures and response planning. Some options could include:

•Using routing measures such as traffic lanes and Areas to be Avoided to reduce exposure to hazards;

•Improving vessel communications and monitoring systems to help avoid conflicts between vessels and subsistence hunters and to reduce impacts to marine mammal aggregations;

•Tightening requirements for vessel waste management to avoid or reduce impacts of harmful pollution;

•Engaging in rigorous planning for disabled vessels so that incidents don’t become accidents;

•Evaluating lightering practices to determine whether there are ways to improve safety and reduce the risk of spills; and

•Developing community spill response that incorporates not only local response capacity but also local input into response planning.

The Bering Sea hosts abundant marine life that supports the people of the region, as well as rich commercial fisheries. And now, the Bering Sea and Bering Strait are growing more important as an international shipping route. Ocean Conservancy is working with others who care about the health and resilience of the Bering Sea to advance practical, common-sense ways to reduce the risks associated with vessel traffic. Putting in place key measures to increase safety and reduce risk makes sense now, and will pay dividends in the future, as shipping transits through the Bering Strait and Bering Sea increase.


Posted in Science & Conservation | Tagged Andrew Hartsig, Arctic sea ice, Bering Sea, Nuka Research and Planning Group LLC, the arctic, vessel traffic
 


About Andrew Hartsig


Andrew Hartsig is the director of Ocean Conservancy’s Arctic Program. He lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska. In a bid to put off taking the bar exam after law school, he paddled a sea kayak from Bellingham, Washington to Juneau, Alaska in the summer of 2005. (Ed. note: Fortunately, he made it back safely and passed with flying colors.)


http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2017/01/12/new-report-evaluates-risks-of-vessel-traffic-in-the-bering-sea/#more-13613

Agelbert NOTE: Hope springs eternal, but an ice free arctic means more Climate Change Catastrophe and multiple extinctions for arctic land and ocean species.
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Offline azozeo

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2017, 09:53:20 AM »
2017-01-15 - Russian TV talks ice age even as Arctic ice disintegrates like never seen before:
http://robinwestenra.blogspot.com/2017/01/freezing-conditionsin-russian-federation.html

Note: Well, it's reassuring that the US doesn't have a complete monopoly on stupidity!
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Offline azozeo

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LARGE CRACK FORMING IN ANTARCTIC..RESEARCHERS EVACUATED!
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2017, 09:05:04 AM »
Play the short vid on the link.
It shows how close the researchers are to the crack.


http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38643420


The British Antarctic Survey is to pull all staff out of its space-age Halley base in March for safety reasons.

The highly unusual move is necessary because the Brunt Ice Shelf on which the research station sits has developed a big new crack.

BAS officials say neither staff nor the base are in any immediate danger but believe it would be prudent to withdraw while the situation is assessed.

The plan would be to go back once the Antarctic winter is over, in November.

Halley station comprises a series of hi-tech pods that are mounted on hydraulic legs and skis so that they can be moved periodically further inland, to get away from the shelf edge where icebergs are calved into the ocean.
Unpredictable situation

BAS is in the process of conducting such a move right now. The relocation is all but complete, with the last pod currently in the final stage of being shifted 23km to the new site.

The move was necessitated by a chasm that had opened up in the shelf and which threatened to cut off Halley. But this huge fissure to the west of the station is not the cause of the temporary closure.

Rather, it is another break in the ice some 17km to the north and east of the new base position. It has been dubbed the "Halloween Crack" because it was discovered on 31 October.

"Changes to the ice, particularly the growth of a new crack, presents a complex glaciological picture that means that BAS scientists are unable to predict with certainty what will happen to the ice shelf during the forthcoming Antarctic winter," the research organisation said in a statement.

"As a precautionary measure, BAS will remove its people before the Antarctic winter begins."

The organisation says it does not believe the ice shelf is about to experience a major calving event, but makes the point that if something were to happen it would be very difficult to react in the depths of an Antarctic winter.

"What we've decided is that given the unpredictability, combined with our inability to do anything about it in winter - no aircraft in the continent, it's dark, it's very cold; all those kinds of issues - then actually the prudent thing to do is withdraw our staff, close the station down in a controlled manner and then go back in next summer," BAS director of operations Captain Tim Stockings told BBC News.

Together with the Rothera base on the Antarctic Peninsula, Halley spearheads the UK presence - and scientific activity - on the White Continent.

Halley gathers important weather and climate data, and it played a critical role in the research that identified the ozone "hole" in 1985.

In recent years, Halley has also become a major centre for studying solar activity and the impacts it can have on Earth.

This is most evident in the beautiful auroras that form over the base - the consequence of particles from the Sun crashing into air molecules high in the atmosphere.

Flying the flag

Just under 20 permanent staff reside at Halley. In winter, they would watch over experiments. BAS now has to decide if any of those experiments can be left running autonomously, or whether it is better to just shut everything down.

Scientists have placed sensors on either side of the more than 40km-long Halloween Crack so that they can monitor its status.

"Obviously, we'll seek to get out of those whatever we can; we'll also be using satellite imagery over the winter as well. Then, next season we'll send a team in to re-open the station, verify the measurements from our instruments and take the situation from there," explained Captain Stockings.

"But I should say - we are committed to our presence in that part of the British Antarctic Territory and to the science we do there. Absolutely.

"We've spent a long time finding the new site for Halley VI and of itself this site isn't directly at risk - it's just the unpredictability of the whole area."

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Offline azozeo

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Re: Official Arctic Meltdown Thread
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2017, 10:02:03 AM »
2017-01-17 - Ocean layering around Antarctica could signal major meltdown:
http://robinwestenra.blogspot.com/2017/01/layering-of-ocean-around-antarctica.html

Quote: "As scientists learn more about the dynamics of the ocean around Antarctica, they’ve discovered a climate warming signal. Distinct layers of water, marked by temperature boundaries, are forming right now, leading to conditions similar to about 14,000 years ago, when Antarctic ice sheets melted rapidly, raising global sea level by more than 10 feet."
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline RE

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Larsen ice crack continues to open up
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2017, 10:43:30 PM »
No worries, it's a shelf and already floating, so when it breaks the sea level shouldn't rise too much.

RE

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38686626

Science & Environment
Larsen ice crack continues to open up
By Jonathan Amos BBC Science Correspondent


The crack that looks set to spawn a giant iceberg in the Antarctic has continued to spread.

The rift in the Larsen C Ice Shelf has grown a further 10km since 1 January.

If the rift propagates just 20km more, it will free a tabular berg one-quarter the size of Wales.

That would make it one of the biggest icebergs ever recorded, according to researchers at Swansea and Aberystwyth universities, and the British Antarctic Survey.

News of the lengthening crack in the 350m-thick floating ice shelf on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula comes from the EU’s Sentinel-1 satellite system.

Comprising two spacecraft, this orbiting capability can continuously monitor Larsen C no matter what the weather is doing because its radar sensors see through cloud.

Their data indicates the fissure now extends for some 195km. But just how long it will take before the 5,000 sq km block finally breaks free is anyone’s guess, says Swansea's Prof Adrian Luckman.

"The rift tip has just entered a new area of softer ice, which will slow its progress," he told BBC News.

"Although you might expect any extension to hasten the point of calving, it actually remains impossible to predict when it will break because the fracture process is so complex.

"My feeling is that this new development suggests something will happen within weeks to months, but there is an outside chance that further growth will be slow for longer than that.

"Sometimes rift growth is triggered by ocean swell originating elsewhere, which is also hard to predict."


Image copyright NASA
Image caption Images taken in November last year illustrate the scale of the rift

When the berg splits away, interest will centre on how the breakage will affect the remaining shelf structure.

The Larsen B Ice Shelf further to the north famously shattered following a similar large calving event in 2002.

The issue is important because floating ice shelves ordinarily act as a buttress to the glaciers flowing off the land behind them.

In the case of Larsen B, those glaciers subsequently sped up in the absence of the shelf. And it is the land ice - not the floating ice in a shelf - that adds to sea level rise.

If Larsen C were to go the same way it would continue a trend across the Antarctic Peninsula.

In recent decades, a dozen major ice shelves have disintegrated, significantly retreated or lost substantial volume - including Prince Gustav Channel, Larsen Inlet, Larsen A, Larsen B, Wordie, Muller, Jones Channel, and Wilkins.
Image copyright ESA/EU/Copernicus
Image caption How the rift appeared to Sentinel-1 at the beginning of the month

Another development to watch will be the behaviour of the free floating berg, and its progress away from the Antarctic.

"Sea ice in the region circulates clockwise with the Weddell Gyre, rather than remaining in one place, and icebergs can be carried with this, sometimes out into the Southern Ocean," explained Prof Luckman.

"It all rather depends on how soon the iceberg breaks up, and how the iceberg draft compares with ocean depths.

"Ocean depths are not perfectly known in the region precisely because the near continuous ice cover makes ship operations difficult."

Many of the big tabular bergs produced in this region of the Antarctic get swept up in currents that eventually take them north towards the British overseas territory of South Georgia.

There, they can be caught in shallow waters to gradually wither away.

This ocean conveyor is the same one exploited by Ernest Shackleton to get his crew to safety when their ship, the Endurance, was crushed in thick sea-ice in the Weddell Sea in 1916.

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