Why in News?
- The iceberg — named A-68s — is travelling at varying speeds depending on local conditions, but at its fastest was travelling about 20 kilometers a day.
- A team of scientists will set off next month on a research mission to find out the impact of a giant floating iceberg on the wildlife and marine life on a sub-Antarctic island.
- The huge iceberg — the size of the U.S. state of Delaware — has been floating north since it broke away from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf in 2017.
- It is now about 75 kilometers from the island of South Georgia, and scientists are concerned over the risks it poses to the wildlife in the area if it grounds near the island.
About South Georgia
- South Georgia is home to colonies of tens of thousands of penguins and 6 million fur seals, which could be threatened by the iceberg during their breeding season.
- The waters near the island are also one of the world’s largest marine protected areas and house more marine species than the Galapagos.
- The research ship RRS James Cook is expected to depart from the Falkland Islands for the iceberg in late January.
- Two underwater robotic gliders will be deployed from the ship and spend several months collecting data to help investigate the impact of freshwater from the melting ice on the region.