Iceberg the size of Singapore on the loose.

(5 Posts)

bbc report of an iceberg the size of Singapore breaking off in Antarctica. Researchers are worried that it might circulate into busy shipping areas.

Hard to imagine really!

alcibiades Wed 13-Nov-13 22:21:51

I was a bit puzzled about the concerns that it would move into shipping areas, because surely they'd be able to see it from a distance?

But then thought that I've always had the image of icebergs being very tall (probably because those are the "photogenic" ones), whereas this one looks more like an extremely large and flat ice sheet. And given that the southern ocean is known to be pretty turbulent, and I think that ice doesn't show up on radar, it could well be that a ship in its vicinity would have no idea that it's there until it's too late. It wouldn't be possible to steer a ship around something of that extent.

I know nothing about shipping areas in that part of the world, so I'll have a google tomorrow, unless you have some links? I guess the shipping companies wouldn't sail in that area if it wasn't economically sensible to do so, so tracking that 'berg is important to avoid having a huge area of ocean classified as a "no-go" area. Not least, for the safety of the crews on those ships.

No links - if you find some i'd be interested smile

It does seem hard to imagine not being able to just go round it but i guess those oil tankers take a huge amount of manoeuvring and you cant have them all getting close and then doing an abrupt turn - would be catastrophic!

alcibiades Thu 14-Nov-13 20:01:20

The only link I have is this one: marinetraffic.com/en/ which I've used in the past just to have a look at shipping in the Channel - useful when there's severe weather sweeping up the Channel.

I hadn't before thought to scroll down to the other end of the planet. Most of the shipping there seems to be around the coastlines, but there are a couple of passenger ships visiting the coast of Antarctica.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Fri 06-Dec-13 11:25:08

Scary!

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