Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Fears two breakaway icebergs the size of Cornwall and London will impact marine wildlife

Two of the largest icebergs in the world are being tracked by British scientists. One is nearly as large as Greater London, the other is almost as large as Cornwall.

The two icebergs, named A81a and A76a, broke off from Antarctica. The latter headed towards South Georgia. Scientists believe they could have an impact on wildlife and fishing.

The largest floating iceberg in the world, the A76a, is 135km long by 25 km wide. It covers more than 3,000 kilometres and is nearly as large as Cornwall.

This large chunk of ice is one of three that broke off from Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf May 2021.


British Antarctic Survey (BAS), has released the first aerial photos of the A81, which broke off from Brunt Ice Shelf in January.

It covers 1,550 km2 and is approximately the same size as Greater London. It is located 15km from its source. Brunt Ice Shelf, which is home to the BAS Halley Research Station, is one of the most closely watched ice shelves on Earth.

Image: In late January, A81 broke off from Brunt Ice Shelf. Pic: British Antarctic Survey
Image: The A76a is nearly the same size as Cornwall. Pic: British Antarctic Survey

Where are they going?

Scientists believe the A76a could cause the death of fauna on the seabed floor, and also disrupt ocean currents if it lands on the shallow seabed region in the region as it moves towards South Georgia.

Fishing vessels are also at risk as the iceberg starts to melt into smaller pieces.

Continue reading:

Welsh government supports floating wind farm in Pembrokeshire

A proposed ‘Hydrogen village’ where homes could swap gas for hydrogen

Geraint Tarling is the head of the ecosystems group at BAS. He said that an iceberg this large will have a significant impact on ocean ecosystems, which support the rich diversity and marine life found in Antarctica.

He stated that melting could have beneficial effects on microscopic plants by releasing nutrients.

He also said that it could have other negative effects, such as large-scale melting dumping lots of freshwater, decreasing salinity, and making the waters “unsuitable for many phytoplankton” – which could affect other parts of our food web, including birds, fish, and whales.

Dr Mark Belchier from South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands said that the “major concern” is the potential risk to vessels operating in the area as the iceberg starts to break apart.

According to the BSA, icebergs in South Georgia are not unusual.

The A68A Iceberg, which reached the southern shelf of the island in 2021, quickly melted when it approached South Georgia. It released 153 billion tonnes freshwater, according to the BAS.


You May Also Like


The controversial Russian businessman Viktor Baturin, well-known for his years-long counterstanding with his wealthy sister Elena, widow of Moscow ex-mayor Yuri Luzhkov, is likely...

United Kingdom

Film director Ridley Scott has recalled the death of actor Oliver Reed while making the Oscar winning blockbuster Gladiator. Scott said hard-drinking Reed “just...

United Kingdom

The Watneys Party Seven is making a comeback. The ubiquitous 70s beer was a bland fizzing bitter ridiculed by many. The drink’s insipidness helped...

European Union

On April 9, 2022 Dimash Qudaibergen’s first solo concert in Germany took place in Düsseldorf. The colossal energy and the atmosphere of unity did...