Luxemberg

From the BBC: ‘Iceberg the size of Luxembourg threat‘ – click image for video and watch the collision of two giant ice masses. Of course 50 years ago, such things would likely go unnoticed without satellite imagery.

They write:

A vast iceberg that broke off eastern Antarctic earlier this month could disrupt marine life in the region, scientists have warned.

They say the iceberg, which is 78km long and up to 39km wide, could make it harder for the area’s colonies of Emperor Penguins to find food.

But British and Australian scientists disagree on whether it could also cause major problems to our own weather patterns.

Well so far, nobody at the BCC is blaming the collision on Global Warming:

BBC tells the truth – shock horror! – iceberg not caused by global warming

But I don’t think Joe Romm has weighed in on it yet. There’s still time. At least it’s not a bridge in Minnesota.

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John of Kent
February 27, 2010 10:48 am

Interesting but this doesn’t prove anything about climate change, mad-made or not. Are they now suggesting we put engines on the iceberg and drive it back to the Antarctic coast?

debreuil
February 27, 2010 10:49 am

I’m starting to realize the BBC isn’t pro or anti anything. It just will print the most sensational headline available.

johnnythelowery
February 27, 2010 10:53 am

“…..it’s a once in 50-100 year event”
Forgot to add the balloon deflater: But Which has occurred 120 million times since the earth’s formation 13 Billion years ago and is perfectly normal.

hunter
February 27, 2010 10:56 am

Since anything can be held out as proof AGW, this iceberg’s creation will be. I bet AGW promoters will claim it as a proof by 1March, 2010.

sagi
February 27, 2010 10:59 am

… or could make it easier for the penquins to find food … or could make no difference at all …
yawn

JonFrum
February 27, 2010 11:06 am

Did you catch this one: whaling causes global warming?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8538033.stm

rbateman
February 27, 2010 11:06 am

Sounds more like a big chunk of ice the size of Rhode Island will make quite a dent in the ocean temps if it continues on it’s merry way northward.
But if you block ocean currents in one place, why won’t they just pick up somewhere else?
A fight between the immovable object and the irresistable force.

slow to follow
February 27, 2010 11:09 am

Shame the BBC link to this article from January 09 on Steig et al:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7843186.stm
instead of the correction to the paper from August 09:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v460/n7256/full/nature08286.html

Jack
February 27, 2010 11:11 am

What is the depth beneath the iceberg? If the berg disturbs the bottom sediment, wouldn’t that throw up a lot of plankton and other marine life? Certain processes in the life cycle thrive on massive disturbances.

Lazarus Long
February 27, 2010 11:13 am

“They say the iceberg, which is 78km long and up to 39km wide, could make it harder for the area’s colonies of Emperor Penguins to find food.”
Why, Daddy, why?

February 27, 2010 11:21 am

On the other hand, if it zips northward far enough and fast enough, it could serve as a lifesaving mid-oceanic rest area for exhausted polar bears.
Or not.

BC Bob
February 27, 2010 11:22 am

Nobody has blamed global warming yet, but heaven’s the penguins and the seals will starve, and it could affect the climate patterns! The nonsensical alarmism by “scientists” and the MSM is absurd to say the least. Every natural event that occurs on mother earth is now viewed as potentially threatening, highly unusual, and eventually, the fault of humans.
It’s definitely a form of hysteria that is easily fed by our increased ability to detect these events, and to disseminate the information so rapidly. Is it any wonder that some clever but devious people keep exploiting this for their own benefit?

Rhoda R
February 27, 2010 11:23 am

This thing is floating, right? So why are they afraid that it will block cold water circulation – surely, if anything, it will add to cold water as the ice begins to melt.

Channon
February 27, 2010 11:27 am

Luxembourg?
How many people know how big that is?
I though Wales was the UK unit of area comparison?

Andrew P.
February 27, 2010 11:30 am

In case no one has posted this yet, the BBC News ‘One World’ report on post Copenhagen politics in Australia, “The Rise of the Sceptics” is now on the i-player:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00r9pxf
30 minutes and worth watching as it is the most balanced broadcast from the BBC on climate since Stephen Sackur’s Hard Talk interview with the retiring Greenpeace CEO.

Seamus Molloy
February 27, 2010 11:31 am

From BBC Ceefax 11.49h 28 February.
Vast iceberg ‘a threat to oceans’
A vast iceberg which broke off the Antarctic continent this month could disrupt the world’s ocean currents and weather patterns, scientists warn.
Australian researchers say the iceberg – the size of Luxembourg- could block an area that produces a quarter of the world’s dense and very cold seawater.
They say a slowdown in the production of this water could result in colder winters in the north Atlantic.
The iceberg is currently floating south of Australia.
So now we know what is causing the freeze up in the Northern hemisphere- thank goodness for Australian researchers.

a jones
February 27, 2010 11:32 am

It is measure of the lack of proportion and indeed common sense to suggest that an iceberg of some 1250 sq. miles is going to have any significant effect on Antarctic regions of the Great Southern Ocean. It may be big as icebergs go but the ocean is very, very much bigger than that. As is the sea ice extent around Antarctica.
I really do not know where these people get their ideas from.
Although to be fair the British Antarctic Survey’s expert, as reported in the London Times today Sat 27 Feb, does not seem particularly excited saying any effect would be local and that such events were just par for the course in Antarctica. Although he did put in the obligatory AGW caveat: what else?
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7042428.ece
Kindest Regards

philincalifornia
February 27, 2010 11:48 am

BC Bob (11:22:11) :
It’s definitely a form of hysteria that is easily fed by our increased ability to detect these events, and to disseminate the information so rapidly.

Fortunately, we now have an increased ability to detect the hysteria, and to disseminate the information equally rapidly.

tjexcite
February 27, 2010 11:50 am

Just wait, this collision would be blamed as the cause of the Chilean earthquake. It was so massive it created some low level waves that are undetectable to human technology but it caused the weak part of the fault to shift.

David S
February 27, 2010 11:58 am

Maybe if they get lucky it will drift to Australia and be used for irrigation.

Jimbo
February 27, 2010 11:58 am

From the BBC:

Captive orcas
Why do they kill, and should they be released? ”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/default.stm

The words “killer” and “whale” spring to mind.
————-

Biofuel power plant plan refused
The plant, which would had been fuelled initially by palm oil, was attacked by critics who blamed the demand for palm oil for rainforest destruction.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/bristol/somerset/8532017.stm

You can’t make this sh** up!

jeroen
February 27, 2010 11:59 am

Luxembourg is 2500km^2 The iceberg is 3042km^2 so it’s even bigger.
Andorra is 500km^2. So the iceberg = Luxembourg + Andorra.

paxglobal
February 27, 2010 11:59 am

It will be blamed, sooner or later, it will.

DirkH
February 27, 2010 12:03 pm

“tjexcite (11:50:07) :
Just wait, this collision would be blamed as the cause of the Chilean earthquake. It was so massive it created some low level waves that are undetectable to human technology but it caused the weak part of the fault to shift.”
I don’t know if english is subtle enough, in German we distinguish between “Grund” and “Anlass”, “cause” and “inducement” maybe, so the cause for the earthquake was the build-up of tension, and the inducement might have been a low-frequency impulse from the collision. This might even be true, who knows…

Stephen Brown
February 27, 2010 12:11 pm

A quick glance at the opening photograph shown in Auntie Beeb’s coverage shows that at the landward end of the water-borne section of the Mertz galcier it was almost completely severed already. A ‘gentle’ nudge from the much bigger B9B, which has been banging around in the Antarctic Ocean for “a number of years” completed a process which was going to happen anyway. This snapping off of the Mertz glacial excrescence into the ocean has, according to one of those interviewed, been an event repeated every 50-100 years. It’s just that now, with satellite imagery, we can see the event happening.
This really is a case of “Move along, nothing to see here.”

mitchel44
February 27, 2010 12:21 pm

B9B, the iceberg that caused this break off is 23 years old.
Shouldn’t it be melted away by now?

Dave F
February 27, 2010 12:21 pm

Nice how the area vacated by the glacier froze back over. I thought ice was melting, why is it reforming after it breaks off?

Arn Riewe
February 27, 2010 1:06 pm

Isn’t it about time for Dr. Ted Scambos (love the name) of NSIDC to issue his annual report on a very rare ice shelf disintegration in Antarctica. Last year I did a google search on his releases and found about 5-7 instances since the 1990’s of an alarming report on this “very rare event”. Maybe he’ll skip this year, but with this.. wow, what an opportunity!

February 27, 2010 1:16 pm

The berg has already docked, from what I’ve heard. Even if it drifted loose of land, it can’t get past the circumpolar currents.
Which is too bad. There are plently places that could use the water. It ought to be towed to Australia or Chile and relieve some thirsty towns there. Or just to equatorial waters where it could melt happily.
If we towed enough ice away from Antarctica we might be able to forestall the coming Ice Age glaciation. Because the dire problem facing Mother Earth is NOT warming but cooling. The cooling is due to ice build-up on Antarctica and the general reduction in oceanic temperature circulation that a continent on a pole causes.
We can’t alter the sun or the Earth’s orbital eccentricities, but we can move some ice around if we put our minds and backs into it.
Warmer Is Better — Fight the Ice

kadaka
February 27, 2010 1:17 pm

mitchel44 (12:21:22) :
B9B, the iceberg that caused this break off is 23 years old.
Shouldn’t it be melted away by now?

Why, that used to be the size of Texas! See how far it’s shrunk!
[/alarmist]

Mike J
February 27, 2010 1:29 pm

Oh my god…. I thought the BBC was meant to report news. The penguins are 300km away… “If the area gets choked up (with ice), then they would have to go elsewhere and look for food.” Like, maybe 300km in the other direction?
Yet another example of hysterical headlines from a non-event.

February 27, 2010 1:32 pm

>>Are they now suggesting we put engines on the iceberg
>>and drive it back to the Antarctic coast?
Better still, put engines on it and drive it to Australia, where they say there is a fresh water shortage.
Or how about driving it into the Gibraltar Straits, and build a motorway across it to link Europe and Africa.
Or parking a lump in the Thames estuary, so we can build a decent airport for London on it?
You might snigger, but Winston Churchill did try to make an iceberg aircraft carrier during WWII. Habbakkuk. It did have some advantages over a steel version.
http://www.royalnavalmuseum.org/info_sheets_Habbakkuk.htm
.

Channon
February 27, 2010 1:34 pm

Luxembourg?
Dorset now!
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1253919/Iceberg-size-Luxembourg-plunge-Europe-cold-winters.html
& its going to plunge Europe into cold winters.
No explanation concerning how.

Mike McMillan
February 27, 2010 1:34 pm

Cool!
But seriously, it will be interesting to see where the Mertz (Fred & Ethel?) iceberg floats off to. The B9B berg that hit it seems to have hung around for quite a while after breaking off, and I’d guess the pair will probably cruise the south polar seas together.
At 1300 ft thick, that’s twice the thickness of the recently departed Wilkins ice bridge out to Charcot island.

February 27, 2010 2:00 pm

jeroen (11:59:12) :
The iceberg is 3042km^2

Antartica is 14.000.000 km^2

aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES
February 27, 2010 2:20 pm

A vast iceberg that broke off eastern Antarctic earlier this month could disrupt marine life in the region, scientists have warned.
They say the iceberg, which is 78km long and up to 39km wide, could make it harder for the area’s colonies of Emperor Penguins to find food.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………
And their point would be?

aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES
February 27, 2010 2:24 pm

An increase in icebergs—isn’t this just another indication that the earth is cooling?

aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES
February 27, 2010 2:29 pm

Channon (13:34:11) :
& its going to plunge Europe into cold winters.
No explanation concerning how.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………
Ok, here’s the explanation:
when an acorn falls from a tree and hits you on the head that means the sky, what you see way overhead, is falling.

Allan M
February 27, 2010 2:29 pm

Quick! We must build a ship the size of France, so the berg can sink it. The Megatanic.

Robert of Ottawa
February 27, 2010 2:37 pm

78km long and up to 39km wide
Pfft! That sounds about the size of my home city, which has a population of 840,000. But, heh, Canada is the second largest country in the world.

John Barrett
February 27, 2010 2:50 pm

@Channon (13:34)
Well, I think choosing a county has a better ring to it. If you used the usual measurements it would come out as 0.15 sq. Wales, which doesn’t sound too impressive.
Actually Gloucestershire is a closer approximation, if we assume that the ‘berg is just over 3000 sq km.

February 27, 2010 3:03 pm

aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES:
“Ok, here’s the explanation:
when an acorn falls from a tree and hits you on the head that means the sky, what you see way overhead, is falling.”
And here’s the graphic: click

Craigo
February 27, 2010 3:46 pm

The obvious question to me is did it jump or was it pushed? (Oh you know, the old skeptic in me). Just look where the impact is compared to the movement.
A glacier tongue projecting into the sea with an obviously formed crack finally detached at a point of weakness. WOW – headline news!

Steve Sloan
February 27, 2010 3:46 pm

Prediction!
AGW caused one berg to ram the other, which in turn caused the earthquake in Chile leading to the earthquake in Argentina and then the smaller one in Oklahoma. The story of the tsunami is still being written but AGW will be the cause of whatever the story is.

bruce ryan
February 27, 2010 3:47 pm

interesting point, before Antarctica and Australia split there was no ice or snow on the South Pole. Ocean currents didn’t circulate correctly and the ocean never got cool enough.
neither here nor there but HAD some bearing on global temps.

wayne
February 27, 2010 3:50 pm

( OMG!! I just couldn’t pass this one up. )
Kids in the background… Quick! Pull it back before someone sees it!!
I told those boys to never drill so many holes in a straight line…
Jim- but we were just makin’ sure man wasn’t affecting Antarctica!
As Mickey chimes in… it’s all the nuclear icebreaker’s fault…
Now you boys go tie that berg up so it won’t cause any mischief…
And you are all grounded, no more grants till you’ve learned a good lesson! ;-#

mitchel44
February 27, 2010 4:35 pm

kadaka (13:17:39) :
mitchel44 (12:21:22) :
B9B, the iceberg that caused this break off is 23 years old.
Shouldn’t it be melted away by now?
Why, that used to be the size of Texas! See how far it’s shrunk!
[/alarmist]
Oh dear, B9B is only one piece, of what was once 154 x 35 km, http://www.acecrc.org.au/drawpage.cgi?pid=ace_internal&aid=797273
but try this old piece
http://antarcticsun.usap.gov/pastIssues/2002-2003/2002_10_27.pdf
I suppose it’s not peer reviewed, but very informative, for a gov publication.

February 27, 2010 5:45 pm

Surprised Al Gore hasn’t claimed it’s going to do a backflip onto Sydney or something.

David Hoyle
February 27, 2010 6:23 pm

“They say the iceberg, which is 78km long and up to 39km wide, could make it harder for the area’s colonies of Emperor Penguins to find food.”
Hang on… doesn’t that mean that they (the penguins) wont have as far to walk and will be able to swim sooner to find …er… fish to eat in the …er… water???
and consequently will be able to get back to the colony to feed the chicks quicker so the colony will increase in size , thereby putting more pressure on fish stocks in the future…and that means less food for us…
Man … whatever happens we just don’t seem able to win at this nature thingy do we???

Keith Minto
February 27, 2010 7:00 pm

It has an interesting tongue like shape http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mertz_Glacier_Tongue_map.png that matches the shape of its glacial valley.
It is named after Xavier Mertz who lost his life in 1913 as a member of Douglas Mawson’s Australian Antarctic Expedition and was buried in the glacier. The glacier grows at 1km per year and its projection like shape made it vulnerable to calving.
Ya never know, X. Mertz may be floating away !

Keith Minto
February 27, 2010 7:16 pm
Squidly
February 27, 2010 7:17 pm

Amazing!! How sensational of a story can you make out of this garbage?

They say the iceberg, which is 78km long and up to 39km wide, could make it harder for the area’s colonies of Emperor Penguins to find food.
But British and Australian scientists disagree on whether it could also cause major problems to our own weather patterns.

Give me a freakin’ break here. You mean to tell me, that this event, an event that has probably occurred thousands of times throughout history, is now, suddenly, going to be this catastrophic? And exactly how is this going to cause “major problems with our weather patterns.” ?
Total and utter BS (bad science)!!!

Pamela Gray
February 27, 2010 7:25 pm

Notice they didn’t even blame the formation of the cracks on global warming. Makes you wonder why all the other previous cracks in floating ice shelves WERE blamed on global warming. Thank GAWD for rascally juvenile pranks such as copying emails and posting them on the web. Such a game changer.

jorgekafkazar
February 27, 2010 7:32 pm

debreuil (10:49:23) : “I’m starting to realize the BBC isn’t pro or anti anything. It just will print the most sensational headline available.”
Oh, great, Debreuil. I guess next week we’ll see:
“GLOBAL WARMING REVEALED AS GIGANTIC HOAX”

AusieDan
February 27, 2010 9:29 pm

BC Bob
We had a health scare in Sydney some years ago when scientists instally new monitoring equipment and found our qwater supply was badly contaiminated.
I (foolish me) spent many weeks furiously boiling water and even used it to clean my teeth. So terified I was.
After some months, when nobody fell ill, it was decided that the bugs had always been there.
The only change was an increased ability to monitor them.
BUT AGW is REAL – be very afraid
(or was that pre climategate – I really can’t remember).

AusieDan
February 27, 2010 9:31 pm

jorgekafkazar (19:32:21) :
” I guess next week we’ll see:
“GLOBAL WARMING REVEALED AS GIGANTIC HOAX”
Yes we will – eventually

George E. Smith
February 27, 2010 10:18 pm

Talk about one picture being worth 1000 words.
So you see there was this big long pier sticking out into the harbor, and this ginormous tourist cruise ship comes along and rams it right near where it joins the shore lne, so the whole pier falls in the water and starts to float away.
Nothing more to see here folks; just move along; we’re going to fine the skipper of the cruise ship, and that will be that.
We are going to hire somebody to see if they can weld the pier back on the shore again; they said something about being able to weld piers with a steam hose or something like that.
These climate worry warts need to get a life. How many years has this 60 mile long popsicle been wandering around the southern ocean, waiting to spoil somebody’s day.
Well so now they have two of them to worry about.
Well at least they are a lot more credible than errant meteorites, that are supposed to be a threat to us.

Perry
February 27, 2010 11:49 pm

Keith Minto (19:00:35) :
So then, X Mertz the spot eh?

Steve Schapel
February 28, 2010 12:25 am

Somewhat OT, but here’s a guy James Balog who has some interesting information, and some very wrong information, even though he has kinda missed the point, in this TED talk “The Earth has a fever”…
http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/628

JAN
February 28, 2010 1:57 am

Steve Schapel (00:25:12) :
It’s just unbelievable how much discredited non-science these environ-mentalists can spew in a matter of minutes to a gullible audience. But the photos were great though. Is this guy by any chance the same one who used to troll around here for a while, and now acts as the resident troll over Tamino’s Closed Minds?

David Alan Evans
February 28, 2010 2:54 am

tjexcite (11:50:07) :

Just wait, this collision would be blamed as the cause of the Chilean earthquake. It was so massive it created some low level waves that are undetectable to human technology but it caused the weak part of the fault to shift.

They don’t need any help with their alarmist ideas, please don’t give them more. 😉
DaveE.

Chris Wright
February 28, 2010 5:01 am

Yesterday’s printed Daily Telegraph had a report about this. At the end, following a quote from Dr Massom, the phrase “climate change” inevitably appeared. But wait….
Here is the quote from the report:
“He added that the calving was not related directly to climate change”.
How the world has changed….
Chris

February 28, 2010 8:35 am

The BBC has no scientists on its staff now because they recruit almost exclusively through Guardian Newspaper advertisements.

Kevin Kilty
February 28, 2010 11:15 am

Seamus Molloy (11:31:16) :
From BBC Ceefax 11.49h 28 February.
Vast iceberg ‘a threat to oceans’
A vast iceberg which broke off the Antarctic continent this month could disrupt the world’s ocean currents and weather patterns, scientists warn.
Australian researchers say the iceberg – the size of Luxembourg- could block an area that produces a quarter of the world’s dense and very cold seawater.
They say a slowdown in the production of this water could result in colder winters in the north Atlantic.
The iceberg is currently floating south of Australia.

How much of this stuff is actually a quotation from a scientist, and how much is garble from a journalist? I think most ocean scientists would agree that the production of bottom water in the North Atlantic, which is the coldest and densest bottom water available, is local to conditions in the North Atlantic; and is also the reason for mild conditions in northern Europe. It is not affected by an iceberg the size of Tasmania circling the Antarctic.

minnesinger
February 28, 2010 11:15 am

As a resident of Luxembourg, I’m delighted that it was used as a reference. Perhaps now fewer people will say “where’s that?” when I tell then where I live. But I do wonder why it was used for comparison. BTW, my mother was Welsh, so Wales would have worked for me as well.

bunny
February 28, 2010 10:02 pm

minnesinger
You live on an iceberg in Antarctica? Wow!

Spector
March 2, 2010 6:56 pm

I wonder if the Australian government is considering sending out icebreakers to chop these giant icebergs into smaller chunks. I have no idea whether or not any good purpose would be served by doing this or how inherently dangerous such a mission might be…

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