Giant iceberg threatens penguin sanctuary: it could settle in shallow water

Giant iceberg threatens penguin sanctuary

The scholars report that the world's largest iceberg, with gigantic dimensions, may soon collide with a remote island located in the South Atlantic. It is notable for the fact that thousands of penguins and seals live there, and the proximity of the iceberg will deprive them of their ways to collect food. Icebergs naturally move into the oceans. But the changing climatic conditions on our planet has greatly accelerated that process.

It suffered devastating consequences for wildlife in the UK. Three years ago, an iceberg, dubbed the A68a and shaped like a hand with a forefinger, split from the Larsen Ice Shelf that is located on the Antarctic Peninsula.

This part of the planet warms up faster than any other zone on southern continent of the Earth. It acquired the rate of melting of a piece of ice that was several times larger than the area of London. It will take about a month to settle in shallow water. The A68a is 160 kilometers long and 48 kilometers wide. Its depth is about 200 meters and it means that it can stay dangerously close to the island.

An expert Andrew Fleming from the British Antarctic Survey believes that the giant iceberg threatens the king penguin colony, as well as the chinstrap penguins and ghent living on the island. Seals also live here, wandering albatrosses and some other species of animals founded their small settlements.

All of them are facing an approaching iceberg. The scholars made a calculation that showed that if an iceberg runs aground near South Georgia, then the feeding routes of animals and birds could be blocked. And this situation will threaten the survival of the offspring of seals and penguins.

The looming iceberg will also crush the organisms and ecosystems on their seabed, which will take decades to recover. But the peculiarity of the iceberg also lies in the fact that over hundreds of years of existence, many nutrients have accumulated in it and it fertilizes the oceans with them.

Until the end of the 20th century, the Larsen Ice Shelf remained stable for over ten thousand years. However, a huge chunk broke off in 1995, followed by another in 2002.