A giant iceberg almost the size of Singapore is on the move in the Southern Ocean, and scientists think it could threaten international shipping lanes.
Latest satellite images show that the 700 sq km iceberg, which split from the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) in Antarctica in July, finally appears to be moving through the Southern Ocean. PIG is the longest and fastest flowing glacier in the Antarctic. Scientists first noticed the iceberg developing in 2011 when a large crack appeared across its 30km width.
U.K. researchers have been awarded an emergency grant of $80,000 to track the movements of the vast iceberg, reports the BBC. Grant Biggs, the principle investigator on the project, told the BBC that if this current iceberg follows the trajectory of previous ones, it will bring the Singapore-size floating island of ice into international shipping lanes.
Scientists have described PIG as the most rapidly shrinking glacier on Earth. Large icebergs are calved from it every 6-10 years. Though this current iceberg is fairly sizable, it falls short of the world’s largest recorded iceberg, the B-15, which measured 11,000 sq km at its peak. It has taken over a decade for the berg to melt away into the Southern Ocean.