Massive ice island drifts toward Canada
St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
July 22, 2011 10:15 am EDT
Environmental Issue, Global Warming, Human Interest, Curiosity
A massive ice island about the size of Manhattan is drifting toward the coast of Newfoundland. While the sight is drawing many curious visitors and is wowing scientists, it is also posing a potential threat to ships.
The ice island, at 20 square miles, is roughly 6 miles long and 3 miles wide. It broke off from Greenland's Petermann Glacier on Aug. 20, 2010. The iceberg, the largest chunk remaining from the massive parent chunk, has been making its way through Arctic waters ever since.
In the last few days, the ice has been traveling south at a rate of 5 to 6 miles per hour. On Thursday, it was just 11.5 miles off the Labrador coast, heading toward Newfoundland.
The ice island is the largest of its kind spotted in at least 50 years. While it is unlikely that it will get too close to the shore, because it will most likely get stuck on the ocean floor, it could pose problems for some ships and offshore oil rigs.
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