맨허턴 4배 크기(260㎢, 참고-서울시 면적 605.27㎢, 강화도 면적 302.4㎢, 울릉도 면적 72.56㎢)의 북극 빙하가 떨어져 나와 배가 다니는 항로에 떠다니고 있어 선박이나 석유 시추시설과 충돌할 경우 엄청난 피해를 야기할 가능성이 있다고 과학자들이 경고하고 있다고 합니다.
아래 [텔레그라프] 뉴스에서 NASA의 인공위성이 촬영한 6월 28일자 사진과 8월 5일자 사진을 비교해보세요.
유빙은 현재 북극에서 남쪽으로 620마일(997.79km) 떨어진 캐나다 엘즈미어 섬과 그린란드 사이에 위치한 네어스 해협(Nares Strait)을 향해 떠내려오고 있다고 합니다.
학자들에 따르면, 이번에 떨어져 나온 빙하는 1962년 이후 북반구에서 떨어져 나온 빙하 중 가장 큰 빙하로 기록되었다고 합니다.
지구온난화(기후변화)에 관한 학계의 논쟁이 뜨거워질 것 같습니다.
Shipping lanes face disruption from giant ice shelf
출처 : [Telegraph] Published: 7:00AM BST 11 Aug 2010
An island of ice more than four times the size of Manhattan could cross shipping lanes or hit oil platforms and any collision could do untold damage, scientists have warned.
In a worst case scenario, large chunks could reach the heavily trafficked waters where another Greenland iceberg sank the Titanic in 1912.
The ice shelf is drifting across the Arctic Ocean after breaking off from a glacier in Greenland.
It’s so big that you can’t prevent it from drifting. You can’t stop it,” said Jon-Ove Methlie Hagen, a glaciologist at the University of Oslo.
Researchers are trying to plot the trajectory of the floating ice shelf, which is moving toward the Nares Strait separating Greenland’s northwestern coast and Canada’s Ellsemere Island.
If it makes it into the strait before the winter freeze – which is due to start next month – it could be carried south by ocean currents, hugging Canada’s east coast until it enters waters busy with oil activities and shipping off Newfoundland.
“That’s where it starts to become dangerous,” said Mark Drinkwater, of the European Space Agency.
The Canadian Ice Service estimates the journey will take one to two years. The shelf is likely to break up as it bumps into other icebergs and jagged islands. The fragments would be further ground down by winds and waves and would start to melt as they move into warmer waters.
“But the fragments may still be quite large,” warned Trudy Wohlleben, a Canadian ice forecaster, who first spotted the massive chunk of ice on satellite images last Thursday.
The chunks of ice could be large enough to threaten Canada’s offshore platforms in the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, said Wohlleben.
And, while it’s possible to redirect smaller icebergs, by towing them or spraying them with water cannons, “I don’t think they could do that with an iceberg this large,” she said. “They would have to physically move the rig.”
Moving an offshore platform is time-consuming and expensive – and very complicated in cases where they are fixed to the ocean floor.
While Greenland’s glaciers break off thousands of icebergs into Arctic waters every year, scientists say this ice island is the biggest in the northern hemisphere since 1962.