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First aerial view of A81, a gigantic iceberg the size of London Is it bad for the oceans?



Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have released the first aerial images of the iceberg so far. A81 became known this year for separating from the Blunt Ice Shelf. the size of the city as a whole, especially London.

It wasn’t until the end of January that this giant piece of ice broke off in Antarctica. It measures about 1,550 square kilometers and is currently moving through the ocean. It can affect maritime transport, fisheries and even wildlife, according to the report. reported by the BBC.

The BAS team approached the BAS Halley Research Station, which monitors one of the largest Blunt ice shelves on Earth.

From there, they were able to observe and capture on video how this giant piece of ice moved. already about 150 km away from the origin say advance notice It was published by the agency this Monday.

Why did iceberg A81 split?

iceberg identified as A81 leaves the Blunt platform through a fissure called Chasm-1 spread by dropping this huge block of ice.

“This was the ‘delivery’ we knew was coming. BAS has been monitoring the Blunt Ice Shelf and the fissures that have formed there for more than a decade. “Since the glaciologist first observed the expansion of his Chasm-1 in 2012,” explained BAS Halley glaciologist Dr. Oliver Marsh.

A81 is now navigating the ocean at its own pace, and its melting will mix the fresh water contained in this ice with the ocean, harming the saltwater ecosystems that live there.

“After leaving the ice shelf, The iceberg has turned and is heading south. A81 is expected to follow in the footsteps of former icebergs swept westward by strong Antarctic coastal currents.

For now, experts say the iceberg It is moving in the Weddell Sea towards the South Atlantic Basin .

Similarly, they also repaired A76 is another ice block, traveling longer and heading towards South Georgia. It is estimated to be a problem for marine life in the area.

“As icebergs reach shallow waters, local wildlife around South Georgia and nearby shag rocks could be disrupted. It can disrupt ocean currents and feeding routes for local wildlife.

Are giant icebergs dangerous to the ocean?

The answer is yes or no, as detailed in the BAS study. “An iceberg of this size would have a significant impact on the marine ecosystems that support the rich diversity of marine animals found in this Antarctic region. These influences can be both positive and negative. Geraint Tarling, head of the BAS ecosystem team, explains:

On the plus side, he said, “As the iceberg melts, It releases large amounts of nutrients that help microscopic plant growth such as phytoplankton. At the bottom of the marine food web.

Negatively, “this same melting, on such a large scale, Discards large amounts of fresh water into the ocean, reducing salinity and making the water unsuitable for many phytoplankton and zooplankton It eats them,” he says.

Moreover, these latter effects It can also affect the ‘trophic web’ or food circulation fish, birds, seals and whales.

Source: Biobiochile

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