News Stories

Huge Icebergs Collide

It?s something so large, it can be seen from space: amassive iceberg is colliding with a floating glacier nearthe McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica. NASA satellitesare following the 100-mile-long B-15A iceberg as it movessteadily towards the Drygalski Ice Tongue. They expect acollision no later than January 15, 2005.

When the iceberg and the ice tongue collide, the edges ofeach could crumple and ice could pile up or drift into theRoss Sea. If the B-15A iceberg picks up enough speed beforeit collides with the ice tongue, the Drygalski Ice Tonguecould break off. The ice tongue is thick ice that grows outover the Ross Sea from a land-based glacier on Antarctica'sScott Coast.

The B-15A iceberg is a1,200-square-mile slab of floating icewith a history of problems. It is the largest piece of amuch larger iceberg that broke away from the Ross Ice Shelfin March 2000. After it broke away, it originally driftedtoward McMurdo Sound and became grounded on Ross Island. Ithas now broken into pieces, the biggest of which is B-15A.

B-15A has trapped sea ice in McMurdo Sound, meaning thatpenguins now have to swim long distances to find food andmay not have the strength to return with food for theiryoung. However, the collision may make things easier becauseit may open a hole that will let the sea ice escape.

Could a penguin become yourpower animal?

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