News 11 july — 17:43

A68: World's biggest iceberg is on the move


It's two years since the monster block of ice known as A68 broke free from Antarctica, BBC reports.

Satellites show the world's biggest berg has spun around in the waters of the Weddell Sea and is now moving north along the White Continent's peninsula.

For a while, it seemed like the 160km-long frozen mass had become stuck on a section of shallow seafloor. A68 was in danger of becoming the world's biggest "ice island".

But it's since picked up the pace.

"For an object weighing around one trillion tonnes, Iceberg A68 appears to be quite nimble," says Prof Adrian Luckman.

"Following a year of staying close to its parent ice shelf, in mid-2018 A68 became caught in the Weddell Gyre, a clockwise ocean current, which spun it through 270 degrees and carried it 250km north," he told BBC News.

"The iceberg is 160km in length yet only 200m thick - a similar ratio to a credit card - so it is surprising how little damage it has sustained in its journey so far."

A68 calved from the edge of the Larsen C Ice Shelf in July 2017. Swansea University's Prof Luckman has followed its progress ever since, using Europe's Sentinel-1 satellites.

There are two of these spacecraft and they fly over the berg every few days.

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