Feeds

Giant iceberg slams into glacial tongue

Continental traffic police are en route

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

An iceberg the size of Long Island has collided with the Drygalski ice tongue in Antarctica, breaking off a sizeable chunk of the glacial outflow. Maps of the continent will, they say, have to be re-drawn.

The 115-kilometre-long berg crashed into the floating extension of the glacier on 15 April, tearing a five-kilometre chunk from the end of the protuberance. More than half the berg still has to clear the ice-tongue, and researchers expect the tongue will sustain more damage in the next few days.

The scene of the accident

The Antarctic winter is now beginning, and local observations of the collision are becoming more difficult. This picture was snapped using Envisat's Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar instrument.

Researchers have been tracking the progress of the iceberg since it broke off from the Ross ice shelf in March 2000. Back then, it was even more of a monster: at 11,655 square kilometres, it was bigger than the island of Jamaica. It later broke into smaller pieces, the largest of which is roughly the size of Luxembourg, or Long Island.

This piece was careening towards the Drygalski ice tongue earlier this year, when quite abruptly, it stopped. Scientists think it most likely that it grounded itself on a sandbank.

The huge chunk of ice has played merry hell with the normal ocean currents, stopping much of the sea ice from breaking up during the Antarctic summer. This meant Emperor penguins had a longer-than-usual trek to and from the sea to gather food for their chicks, and McMurdo researchers had difficulty reaching their base. ®

Related stories

Life on earth follows 62 million year cycle
Satellite snaps huge, penguin-killing iceberg
SMART-1 finds possible moon-base

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.