Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hundreds of Antarctic Icebergs Head for New Zealand

Posted: November 24, 2009

In this Nov. 5, 2009, photo provided by the Australian Antarctic Division, a large iceberg spotted off Macquarie Island, about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) southeast of Australia, mid-way between Antarctica and Australia. It is a rare sight in waters so far north, Australian scientists said Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009.
(A large iceberg spotted off Macquarie Island, about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) southeast of Australia)

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RAY LILLEY,
Associated Press Writer

A flotilla of hundreds of icebergs that split off Antarctic ice shelves is drifting toward New Zealand and could pose a risk to ships in the south Pacific Ocean, officials said Tuesday.

The nearest one, measuring about 30 yards (meters) tall, was 160 miles (260 kilometers) southeast of New Zealand's Stewart Island, Australian glaciologist Neal Young said. He couldn't say how many icebergs in total were roaming the Pacific, but he counted 130 in one satellite image alone and 100 in another.

In the current case, a cold snap around southern New Zealand and favorable ocean currents conspired to push the towering visitors, which have drifted around Antarctica for the past nine years, to the region intact.

 

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