The colossal chunk of ice that just broke away from Antarctica is about 25 times the size of Boston, but don’t worry about it showing up on our shores — the chances of that ice floating up to Cape Cod are nil.
Scientists already have a good idea of where the 2,240-square mile iceberg is heading, according to Christopher A. Shuman, a research scientist at the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
“We actually know that pretty well,” said Shuman, who’s also an associate research professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “This berg is going to drift up toward South Georgia.”
And no, Shuman doesn’t mean the home state of the Atlanta Falcons. He’s referring to the remote British island that is further south than most of us will ever travel.
According to NASA, the giant iceberg split off an ice shelf on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula known as Larsen C sometime between July 10 and July 12, is expected to take a while to travel northward.
“Watching the evolution and release of this new large iceberg from the Antarctic Peninsula has been a truly humbling and awe-inspiring experience, especially considering the climate-related ice shelf losses just to the north,” Shuman said in a statement.
Another little known fact about Larsen C: prior to this split, “Larsen C itself was about the same size as Vermont and New Hampshire put together,” he said.
The giant iceberg wouldn’t be able to make it anywhere close to us because of the warmer water temperatures.
Shuman said it will be in the Southern Ocean for a while.
“We track all sorts of icebergs. They kind of bump along over a number of years,” he said. “The other thing is, of course, it may run aground.”
One thing is for sure, its movements will be monitored closely.
“It’s not clear how quickly this will journey north,” said Shuman. “It’s going to take a period of years to watch this berg’s journey from start to finish.”Emily Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.