5-speed listening (Iceberg A68a - Level 4)

Giant Antarctic iceberg A68a splits into three






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A huge iceberg heading towards South Georgia in the southern Atlantic has split into three chunks. NASA scientists are tracking the main berg, called A68a. It split from an ice shelf in 2017 and has been floating north ever since. A fast-moving stream of water in the Southern Antarctic has put the chunks on a course that could see them run aground off the South Georgia coast. Scientists say the three fragments are about 2,600 square kilometres in size.

The size of the chunks is a big threat to the South Georgia wildlife. It could be an environmental catastrophe. If they hit the seabed, they could block penguins and seals from looking for fish. They could also block routes to feeding grounds during the breeding season. The bottom of the chunks could rake up the seabed and disrupt delicate ecosystems. A mass of melting fresh water from the chunks over the summer could worsen this situation.

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