They record on video for the first time the huge iceberg A81the size of the Guipuzcoa provincewhich broke off in January from the Great Brunt Ice Shelf in the Antarctica. It has already moved 150 kilometers south, and according to biologists it will have good and bad consequences for the marine ecosystem.
The breaking of this gigantic iceberg has not been a surprise. It began to crack 10 years ago, through the Chasm-1 rift, and finally broke away completely last January. the great brunt ice shelf.
The currents are dragging it towards the south of Antarctica, and it has already separated 150 kilometers. As we have commented, it is almost the size of the entire province of Guipúzcoa, some 1,600 square kilometersand more of 90 kilometers long.
It was recorded for the first time a few days ago, by a plane from the Halley Research Station from United Kingdom. The station was located in the middle of the iceberg, so they had to move it more than 20 kilometers before it broke.
Here you can see on video the immense glacier A81:
Still, it’s not the largest block of ice to drift. He iceberg A76A has a size of 3,200 square kilometersdouble that of the A81, with 135 kilometers long by 25 kilometers wide.
This block is heading north, and the currents will cause clash with the island of South Georgianear the Malvinas, which could cause enormous damage to the fauna and flora.
The positive and negative effect of icebergs
The detachment of the icebergs in the Antarctica It is a natural process in the ecosystem, but in recent years it has been accelerating, and icebergs are getting bigger, due to climate change.
These immense ice blocks that float adrift, has positive and negative effects in the fauna and flora.
As Professor Geraint Tarling, who works at the Halley Research Station, explains, the main positive effect the thing is “as the iceberg melts, it will release a large amount of nutrients that could benefit the growth of microscopic plants such as phytoplankton“.
But this thaw also has a negative effect:”on such a large scale a large amount of fresh water is dumped into the ocean, lowering salinity levels and making the waters unsuitable for many phytoplankton and the zooplankton that feed on them. These adverse effects could affect the entire food chain, right down to fish, birds, seals and whales.“.
Another additional problem is that the iceberg A76A goes to an island
“In addition, if A76A continues on its way to Shag Rocks, the breaching of the shallow seafloor found there could be catastrophic for biodiverse seabed communities, including nursery grounds for valuable fish populations.“.
It is always impressive to see a video of a iceberg the size of guipuzcoa. But it is also interesting to know the consequences, good and bad, that it causes.