Energy & Environment

Delaware-sized iceberg could collide with island in South Atlantic this month

Royal Air Force

An iceberg the size of Delaware could collide with a South Atlantic island this month, according to the government of South Georgia.

The iceberg dubbed “A68a” is estimated by NASA to be roughly the size of the state of Delaware and broke away from the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica in 2017, NBC News reported.

According to a social media post from the government-official account of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI), the photos taken from a British Royal Air Force A400M could not capture the entire vastness of the drifting ice mass.

“The sheer size of the A68a iceberg means it is impossible to capture its entirety in one single shot,” British officials said in a statement.

The Royal Air Force has been working closely with the government to keep track of the roughly 4,200-square-km iceberg, conducting a reconnaissance mission over the mass and capturing photos of its size and scale.

The Sandwich Islands are around the size of Rhode Island and are part of U.K. overseas territory nearly 800 miles southeast of the Falkland Islands.

BBC News reported the iceberg is only 150 kilometers from the territory, calling the large ice mass the “world’s biggest iceberg.”

If it collides with the islands, there is less concern for human impact and more worries by scientists the effect could threaten the wildlife ecosystem and animals’ access to food.

Animals such as large populations of whales, seals and penguins feed off South Georgia’s coast.

“Ecosystems can and will bounce back of course, but there’s a danger here that if this iceberg gets stuck, it could be there for 10 years. An iceberg has massive implications for where land-based predators might be able to forage,” said Professor Geraint Tarling, an ecologist at the British Antarctic Survey told NBC.

Tags Earth sciences Georgia Icebergs NBC News Physical geography South Georgia U.K.

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