The world’s largest iceberg is on the move.
6 December 2023
The world’s largest iceberg is on the move for the first time in more than 35 years. At 1500 square miles, it is roughly three times the size of New York city.
On November 27, 2023, a break in the swirling cloud cover allowed a glimpse of the Earth’s largest iceberg drifting past the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.Courtesy: NASA Modis
‘It’s game on’: The world’s largest iceberg is on the move. Scientists explain why it matters Published U Dec 6 2023 in CNBC
The world has already warmed by around 1.1 degrees Celsius, scientists say, after over a century of burning fossil fuels as well as unequal and unsustainable energy and land use.
Robbie Mallett, a sea ice scientist and honorary research fellow at the University of College London, says there are a few reasons why A23a has captured people’s imagination.
“One is that this iceberg is absolutely massive,” Mallett told CNBC at the COP28 climate conference in the United Arab Emirates.
“It is the world’s biggest iceberg currently; it took that title back recently. And it is kind of a metaphor for how massive the cryosphere is, how big Antarctica is,” he continued. “It’s just astonishingly big and it’s a reminder of how much risk we’re at from sea level rise.”
The breakaway of A23a is thought to have been part of a natural “carving” process, but Mallet said icebergs are breaking off ice shelves at an increasing rate due to the climate crisis.
“Antarctica has historically been quite a small contributor to sea level rise, but it is growing, and it is taking up a bigger and bigger share of the sea level rise that we see every year,” he added. “So, it’s a symbol of the growing dominance of Antarctica in the sea level rise equation.”
- ‘It’s game on’: The world’s largest iceberg is on the move. Scientists explain why it matters by Sam Meredith. CNBC, Dec 2023
- Dr Robbie Mallett, Honorary research fellow at UCL, Earth Sciences