Feeds

Satellite snaps huge, penguin-killing iceberg

Size of Long Island

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

An iceberg the size of Long Island is smashing into the continent of Antarctica. Caught by both the Terra and Aqua satellites heading straight for the Drygalski Tongue (the floating extension of the Drygalski Glacier), the iceberg looked set for a head-on collision. But at the last minute, just two and a half miles from the glacial tongue, it stopped, most likely grounded on a sandbank.

Iceberg B15a crashes into Antarctica. Source: NASA

At just over 80 miles long, the iceberg is playing havoc with the normal ocean currents that clear pack ice away from the antarctic shore in its summer months. The sea ice has remained intact well into January, adding tens of extra miles of marching for penguins, who need to get to the sea to find food for their chicks.

However, as the iceberg appeared to ground itself, there was a sudden break-up of the sea ice in the area (see picture). This does not mean the chicks are saved, however. Researchers had been worried the penguins would have to eat all the food they had gathered in order to survive the march home. This is less unlikely now that the ice has broken up, but the chicks are still imperilled.

The unusually persistent pack-ice also made it harder for icebreakers to reach the science base at McMurdo. ®

Related stories

Mars rock found in Antarctica
Satellite photos pinpoint 'Atlantis'
Choppers to buzz Tux colonies in bid to make penguins keel

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.