Massive iceberg on collision course with penguin sanctuary

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • A giant iceberg floating northward could collide with a sub-Antarctic island and devastate the wildlife population there.
  • Scientists say if the berg the size of Delaware runs aground near the island, it would block penguins and seals from getting to food for their young.
  • The event would cause the population of penguins and seals around the world to “drop by a large margin.”

Scientists fear that a massive iceberg the size of Delaware could collide with the remote sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. The collision of the iceberg A68 would endanger the island’s penguin and seal population.

Experts estimate that the berg could run aground near the island in just 20 to 30 days at the rate it’s traveling. According to the Antarctic Survey, it broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf back in July 2017 and has been floating north since.

The event of a collision poses a problem for animals hunting for food to feed their young, as it could block their path to food supplies and forcing them to take a “big detour”, said Professor Geraint Tarling, an ecologist with the British Antarctic Survey. This would hinder the animal parents from returning more quickly to feed their young and prevent them from “starving to death in the interim.” Agence France-Presse reported that this would threaten the survival of seal pups and penguin chicks.

Tarling added that the global population of penguins and seals would “drop by a large margin.”

Currently, the iceberg is around 80 times the size of Manhattan, measuring 30 miles wide and 93 miles long. It’s hard to predict where the berg’s exact trajectory.

Andrew Fleming, also from the Antarctic Survey, said that the chances of the iceberg colliding with South Georgia are 50/50. However, there’s still a chance that it will move around the island, floating into warmer waters where it would break apart much faster.

Source: New York Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *