After more than three decades of remaining stable at the bottom of the Antarctic Ocean, the world’s largest iceberg, known as A23a, has started to shift. Scientists Ella Gilbert and Oliver Marsh revealed that this massive iceberg, boasting a thickness of approximately 400 meters (1,312 feet) and covering an area of around 4,000 square kilometers (1,544 square miles), is finally releasing its grip on the seafloor as part of the natural growth cycle of the ice shelf.
A23a has held the prestigious title of “the world’s largest iceberg” multiple times since the 1980s, occasionally surpassed by larger but shorter-lived icebergs such as A68 in 2017 and A76 in 2021. Gilbert and Marsh emphasized that this iceberg’s movement is a consequence of the ongoing natural processes within the ice shelf, influenced by climate change causing significant alterations in Antarctica’s ice dynamics.
The detached iceberg is now drifting with ocean currents, anticipated to travel eastward at a pace of five kilometers (three miles) per day, as reported by Al Arabiya.net. The Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute disclosed that this colossal mass grounded itself three decades ago and is currently advancing at a speed of 150 kilometers per month along Antarctica’s shores.
The institute’s statement highlighted the vigilance of experts at the Ice and Hydrometeorology Information Center, who are closely monitoring the movement of A23a. With the onset of winter in Antarctica, the iceberg has embarked on its journey, more than 30 years after parting ways with the Antarctic ice, progressing at a rate exceeding 150 kilometers per month. (Agencies)
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