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Scientists tracking giant icebergs

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Two massive icebergs, one the size of Auckland and Northland and the other is 135km long and 25km wide, have been spotted drifting away from Antarctica.

Scientists are keeping a close eye on them, worried about the impact they might have on the wildlife.

The two icebergs, named A81 and A76a, are being tracked by British scientists. They could take decades to melt away, but when they do, the huge amount of fresh water that enters the ocean may make it hard for some small animal and plant life to survive.

However, the melting of the ice may also release ancient minerals trapped within the ice, which could provide a source of nutrients for the ocean’s ecosystem.

The iceberg, which is shaped like an ironing board, originally broke away from the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in May 2021. It has drifted north carried by currents and winds towards the gap between the British overseas territories of the Falklands and South Georgia Islands.

Scientists are worried that the iceberg could get stuck in the shallow waters near South Georgia or at the series of nearby tiny islands known as Shag Rocks. This could have an impact on local wildlife and people as it could impact fishing.

While the icebergs are a sight to behold, scientists are taking their potential impact seriously and keeping a watchful eye on their movements.

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