An iceberg the size of Luxembourg that contains enough fresh water to supply a third of the world’s population for a year has broken off in the Antarctic continent, with possible implications for global ocean circulation, scientists said today.
The iceberg, measuring about 50 miles by 25, broke away from the Mertz glacier around 2,000 miles south of Australia after being rammed by another giant iceberg known as B-9B three weeks ago, satellite images reveal. The two icebergs, which both weigh more than 700m tons, are now drifting close together about 100 miles north of Antarctica. Rob Massom, a senior scientist at the Australian Antarctic Division and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart, Tasmania, said the location of the icebergs could affect global ocean circulation and had important implications for marine biology in the region.
The concern is that the massive displacement of ice would transform the composition of sea water in the area and impair the normal circulation of cold, dense water that normally supplies deep ocean currents with oxygen.
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