Cold snap: Iceberg hits glacier

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The Independent Online

The world's largest iceberg has crashed into an Antarctic glacier, snapping off a three-mile chunk of it, reshaping the coastline of Antarctica and forcing the map to be redrawn.

The world's largest iceberg has crashed into an Antarctic glacier, snapping off a three-mile chunk of it, reshaping the coastline of Antarctica and forcing the map to be redrawn.

The predicted "collision of the century" between the 71-mile long B15-A iceberg, the size of Luxembourg, and the 45-mile long Drygalski ice tongue was expected months ago. But the iceberg became stranded on a sandbar near the tongue, starving penguins and blocking ships supplying research stations.

The iceberg, which contains enough water to supply the Nile for 80 years, scraped the side of the century-old tongue, an extension of the David glacier. And the trouble may not be over. "Since it touched, it's turned dramatically from its original orientation," Mark Drinkwater, head of ESA's ocean and ice unit in the Netherlands told New Scientist. "The question now is whether the currents can carry it out [to the open sea] without it getting lodged in the Terra Nova bay."

If it is trapped, it may interfere with penguins' feeding routes. B15-A is the largest section of the B15 iceberg which broke from the Ross ice shelf in 2000. Then the iceberg was larger than Jamaica at 4,500 square miles.

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