Icebergs, ahoy!

Earlier this month, NASA’s MODIS sensor on their Aqua satellite captured this image of two enormous (enormous! see the scale bar?)  icebergs hanging out near the coast of Antarctica.

Icebergs along Antarctica, NASA Earth Observatory.

Big icebergs can locally impede sea ice formation.  The area on the leeward (not facing into the wind) side of these icebergs,  is largely sea ice-free—this is due to the icebergs blocking winds, and thus sea ice doesn’t form there as readily.

Below is a time-series montage of an even bigger iceberg (B-15) breaking off the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica in 2000.  It was twice the size of Delaware and was one the biggest recorded at the time of its calving….it has since broken into smaller ones.

B-15 calving in March 2000 in Antarctica. NASA Visible Earth.


Via NASA’s Earth Observatory and NASA’s Visible Earth.


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