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Iceberg's slow-motion collision near Antarctic Research is immenent

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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:47 PM
Original message
Iceberg's slow-motion collision near Antarctic Research is immenent


It is an event so large that the best seat in the house is in space: a massive iceberg is on a collision course with a floating glacier near the McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica. NASA satellites have witnessed the 100-mile-long B-15A iceberg moving steadily towards the Drygalski Ice Tongue. Though the iceberg's pace has slowed in recent days, NASA scientists expect a collision to occur no later than January 15, 2005.

"It's a clash of the titans, a radical and uncommon event," says Robert Bindshadler, a researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and if the two giant slabs of ice collide, we could see one of the best demolition derbies on the planet. "Even a 'tap' from a giant can be powerful. It will certainly be a blow far larger than anything else the ice tongue has ever experienced," says Bindshadler.

When the iceberg and the ice tongue collide, the impact will likely "dent their bumpers," says Bindshadler. The edges could crumple and ice could pile or drift into the Ross Sea. But if the B-15A iceberg picks up enough speed before the two collide, the results could be more spectacular. The Drygalski Ice Tongue could break off.

The ice tongue is thick ice that grows out over the Ross Sea from a land-based glacier on Antarctica's Scott Coast. "Ice tongues do break off on occasion," says Bindshadler. "It would only take one thin area on the ice tongue to make it break off." There's no guarantee that the Drygalski Ice Tongue will break off, but "this is the toughest blow it has ever had to deal with."

http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/ice_ber...
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks. This is so cool. My friend's son works there for National
Geographic. I just sent him this link.
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. There have been rumors of an evacuation
Now it's clear why.
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Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
3. Drygalski's gonna be PO'd!
"Grumble, grumble... I spend years here freezing my ass off and they finally name a god damn ICE TONGUE after me. Then what????? A goddam iceberg comes along, and it's Good-bye, Drygalski Ice Tongue! Feh. Maybe they should just name the crapper after me and have done with it. Gripe, grumble, kvetch... this never happens to anyone else. It only happens to me."

:silly:
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Wanna take a ride?


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Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Hmm....
"Free Ice Tongue rides"? I think I'll pass!

B-)
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Drygalski
was far more adventurous.
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Billy Ruffian Donating Member (672 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
7. very cool
no pun intended.

One of my regrets is that I didn't try to winter over at the Pole while I was in the USN (a long time ago...)
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. You"re lucky you didn't.
Edited on Fri Jan-14-05 02:46 PM by indigobusiness
The cancer stats, for those who've spent much time there, are alarming. The ozone hole is no joke.
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Billy Ruffian Donating Member (672 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-15-05 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. That's kind of surprising
The opportunity was to winter over at the pole ... Not too much sunshine, nor outdoor activity.

I'd love to read more about cancer problems among long term Antarctic visitors.
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-15-05 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I thought you meant our winter, their summer.
Which, of course, is the worst time for solar exposure. Sorry I don't have the info for you, but it shouldn't be too hard to scare up.

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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-20-05 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Indoor/outdoor
Edited on Thu Jan-20-05 04:00 PM by indigobusiness
I don't think indoors is an escape. Lead hats required.
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
9. update
Huge iceberg to ram glacier

'Clash of the titans' in the Antarctic


A 100-mile-long iceberg is steaming towards a floating glacier near the McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica. NASA scientists have been following the impending smash-up in satellite images and have predicted the collision will occur no later than Jan. 15.

advertisement

"It's a clash of the titans, a radical and uncommon event," said Robert Bindshadler, a researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

With an area of 1,200-square miles (3,000-square kilometers), the iceberg B-15A is about the size of Long Island, NY. If it stays on its present course, it will smack bumpers with the Drygalski Ice Tongue, which is a thick frozen chunk that juts out into the Ross Sea from a land-based glacier on the western Pacific coast of Antarctica.

"Even a tap from a giant can be powerful," Bindshadler said. It will certainly be a blow far larger than anything else the ice tongue has ever experienced.

The McMurdo Research Station, located in McMurdo Sound on the Ross Sea, is the hub of U.S. scientific work on Antarctica. In the summer months, ships unload supplies at the station for airlift to researchers at the geographic South Pole, 800 miles inland.

snip

http://feeds.bignewsnetwork.com/redir.php?jid=12ec51110...
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Lithos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-16-05 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Maybe a slight shift in word choice?
"It's a clash of the titans"

Would be better because this is an iceberg if they said, a class of Titanic proportions...


L-
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HeeBGBz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
13. Is it there yet?
Did I miss it?
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-20-05 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. ***Update***Monster iceberg wreaks havoc in Antarctic
Monster iceberg wreaks havoc in Antarctic

Last Updated Thu, 20 Jan 2005 14:22:34 EST
CBC News

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - The world's largest iceberg seems to have run aground near Antarctica, threatening to block supply ships from scientific bases and starve tens of thousands of penguins.

Experts had predicted that B15A which measures 3,000 square kilometres, about half the size of Prince Edward Island would likely slam into a huge glacier floating near McMurdo Sound by last weekend.

...

But the iceberg's progress toward the Drygalski Ice Tongue has slowed, leading scientists to speculate Thursday that it is hooked in shallow waters about five kilometres offshore.

...

If the massive iceberg turns out to be grounded, it could cause serious problems for scientific bases on the continent, including three research bases at McMurdo Sound run by the United States, New Zealand and Italy. The monster iceberg which measures 160 kilometres along one side has already blocked water currents and winds that break up ice floes during the Antarctic summer, plugging the narrow stretch of sea.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/01/20/ice...
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-05 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
16. Crrrrrrrunch! And it runs aground......
Edited on Sat Jan-22-05 12:27 AM by Dover
Largest iceberg on Earth runs aground

18:59 20 January 2005


The world's largest iceberg appears to have run aground in Antarctica instead of crashing into an enormous floating tongue of ice, as predicted by previous satellite imagery.

But the iceberg remains a concern as it is starving local penguins by blocking their route to the sea and also threatening to cut off supply lines to a number of research bases in the area.

A "collision of the century" was expected on 15 January 2005 between the gigantic B15-A iceberg and the huge Drygalski ice tongue in McMurdo Sound in the Ross Sea. But satellite data from the European Space Agency and NASA reveal the clash never happened. The latest data indicates the behemoth is stranded in a bay 4 kilometres away.

"The iceberg decelerated extremely quickly before approaching the ice tongue, and the point closest to the ice tongue seemed to bounce back," says Mark Drinkwater, head of ESA's oceans and ice unit, in the Netherlands. This suggests the iceberg hit something underwater....cont'd

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6908

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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-23-05 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
17. Russian icebreaker heading to U.S. Antarctic researchers' aid
MOSCOW. Jan 22 (Interfax) - The icebreaker Krasin of the Far Eastern Sea Shipping Company on Saturday covered the first part of its journey across the Ross Sea, clearing the way for a caravan of ships heading towards the U.S. McMurdo polar station, the main research base of the U.S. National Science Foundation's Antarctic program.

The Far Eastern Sea Shipping Company said in a release, citing the Krasin's captain Viktor Kovalchuk, that "the icebreaker is to cover the most difficult, 18 miles long stretch of the way. The passage is blocked by icebergs, separated by narrow corridors, and the ice is 6 meters thick. The weather and visibility are normal, and the ship is working excellently.
The Krasin is carrying fuel, food and medicines for McMurdo's personnel.

The operation was launched by the Russian government at the request of the U.S., the company said in a press release.
"The United States' decision to turn to Russia for help is not accidental. Russia has the world's most powerful fleet of icebreakers, staffed by the most experienced crews," said the Far Eastern Sea Shipping Company's general director Yevgeny Ambrosov

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/doc/HotNews.html#65074
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