World’s Largest Iceberg, Three Instances the Measurement Of NYC, Begins Transferring for First Time in Over 30 Years • Watts Up With That?

From the Daily Caller



The world’s largest iceberg, which was an ice island for more than 30 years, has resumed drifting, several reports noted.

Iceberg A23a, 1,280 sq. nautical miles (about 1,695 sq. miles or about 4,390 sq. km.) in area, is the largest iceberg in the world, per the U.S. National Ice Center. This makes it more than three times larger than the about 300.45-sq.-mile New York City, and larger by about 661 sq. miles than Rhode Island, the U.S.’s smallest state. However, the visible cliffs are only the tip of the iceberg, as the ice extends farther down below the waterline, per the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

A23a is about 1,312 feet thick, the BBC reported. This makes it 464 feet shorter than the One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the U.S., and nearly twice as tall as the Trump Tower.

A23a calved from West Antarctica’s Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf on the Antarctic coastline in 1986 but soon became stranded on the Weddell Sea just north of the shelf, Reuters reported. It hosted a Soviet research station, Druzhnaya 1, at the time, the BBC noted. (RELATED: Video Of Giant Iceberg Approaching Homes Is Something Straight Out Of A Nightmare)

“It was grounded since 1986 but eventually it was going to decrease (in size) sufficiently to lose grip and start moving. I spotted first movement back in 2020,” Dr. Andrew Fleming, a remote sensing expert from the British Antarctic Survey, told the BBC.

Strong winds and currents are whipping the nearly a trillion-metric-tonne iceberg towards the South Atlantic along the “iceberg alley” path, and it could possibly halt at South Georgia Island, per Reuters. Once there, it reportedly could block access to the island for millions of seals, penguins, and seabirds which breed and forage there. However, it could also release mineral dust, a key source of nutrients for the ocean’s food chains, the BBC noted.

A23a briefly lost its top ranking to another massive iceberg, A76, in 2021. A76, however, has since melted somewhat and splintered off in turbulent, warmer but still chilly waters and is near South Georgia Island.

A23a, like all icebergs, appears doomed to a similar fate, the BBC noted.


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