World’s largest iceberg on course to crash into South Atlantic Island

There is a possibility, however, that the iceberg will disintegrate as it gets flooded with water on its course.

BBC 

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The world’s largest iceberg is currently on course to crash into a South Atlantic Island, and could cause significant damage to local wildlife should it become grounded near the island.  

The “A68a” iceberg - which Nasa estimates to be roughly the size of Devon - or six times the size of London - broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica in 2017.  

It is currently travelling through the Southern Antarctic Front towards the island of South Georgia, according to the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Current tracking predicts that it will land at Clerk Rocks, which sit 35 miles southeast of South Georgia.  

There is a possibility, however, that the iceberg will disintegrate as it gets flooded with water on its course. It has been seen to be crumbling and cracking as it travels. 

South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands are a UK overseas territory, which sit in the southern Atlantic Ocean about 800 miles southeast of the Falkland Islands.  

While there are scientific research bases located on the islands, it is an inhospitable environment and there are no permanent residents.

Government officials have been tracking the 4,200-square-km iceberg closely with the help of the British Royal Air Force, who conducted a reconnaissance mission over the iceberg capturing photos and videos of the large mass.

“The sheer size of the A68a iceberg means it is impossible to capture its entirety in one single shot,” British officials said in a statement.

If the iceberg does collide with South Georgia Island, scientists warn that it could threaten the wildlife ecosystem and animals' access to food. “Ecosystems can and will bounce back of course, but there’s a danger here that if this iceberg gets stuck, it could be there for 10 years. An iceberg has massive implications for where land-based predators might be able to forage,” said Professor Geraint Tarling, an ecologist at the British Antarctic Survey.

Based on water currents and weather conditions the iceberg is poised to strike the territory this month, according to the Royal Navy.

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