One of the world’s largest icebergs is moving beyond Antarctic waters after more than three decades on land, the British Antarctic Survey says.
LONDON — One of the world’s largest icebergs is moving beyond the Antarctic seabed after more than three decades on the ground, according to the British Antarctic Survey.
The glacier, known as A23a, broke off from Antarctica’s Filchner Ice Sheet in 1986. But it got stuck on the sea floor and remained in the Weddell Sea for many years.
The glacier is three times the size of New York City and twice the size of Greater London, covering an area of about 4,000 square kilometers (1,500 sq mi).
Andrew Fleming, a remote sensing expert at the British Antarctic Survey, told the BBC on Friday that the glacier had been moving for the past year and was now speeding past the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, aided by winds. and ocean currents.
“I asked a couple of colleagues about this, any potential change in shelf water temperature that could trigger it, but the consensus is that the time has come,” Fleming told the BBC.
“It’s been a foundation since 1986, but eventually it (scale) is going to decrease, lose its grip and start moving,” he added.
Fleming said it was the first to detect movement from the glacier in 2020. The British Antarctic Survey said it has now landed and is moving on ocean currents to sub-Antarctic South Georgia.