City sized iceberg on the loose, threatens busy shipping lanes

By Blake Mathews - Meteorologist
Headline Goes Here

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - "Iceberg! Right ahead!" Fredrick Fleet, one of the lookouts of the ill-fated Titanic, exclaimed the night of April 14th, 1912. Jump ahead 100 years and once again, ships will be dodging ice -- this time in the south Atlantic. 

According to the BBC, an iceberg the size of Singapore -- or twice the size of Atlanta (270 square miles) -- is drifting in the South Atlantic after it broke off the western tip of the continent from the Pine Island Glacier. 

Scientists say that an iceberg this size could linger around in the Atlantic, even in the subtropical latitudes, for up to a year---perhaps longer. This means that a sizable iceberg could find its way in the middle of busy south Atlantic shipping lanes and therefore pose hazards to the ships.

Ice breaking off the Antarctic ice sheet is a regular occurrence; especially in the very volatile, unstable region of the western ice sheet. According to scientists, an iceberg this size breaks off once every two years or so. Pictured right is from the BBC showing the huge crack in the ice sheet in 2012.

Let's not forget that they are quickly approaching summer there as well. So natural retreat and cracks in the ice are common. This particular crack in the ice sheet appeared in 2011. 

Because of the threat to the shipping lanes, researchers have been granted emergency grant money to track the berg as it heads toward the busy shipping lanes.

Keep that in mind next time you cruise. Maybe it is high time you actually pay attention to the lifeboat drills! Just remember, women and children first.

Read full article here

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.