Sunday, November 29, 2009

Penguins seek global warming asylum

The following article, from NZPA, is dated November 19, 2009:

Four icebergs sighted off the Auckland Islands, 400km south of Bluff, are slowly heading toward New Zealand.

Expedition leader on the tourist ship Spirit of Enderby, Rodney Russ said it was the first time in almost 40 years of visiting the area that he had seen icebergs among the islands.

"They currently appear to be moving north at about 1.25kmh," he said in a statement.

"It is possible that they might reach New Zealand intact -- but they are showing signs of deteriorating and breaking up."

Three years ago, a flotilla of icebergs -- including one 1km long -- drifted to Southland's Catlins coast, with some coming as close as 25km to land.

It was 1931 when icebergs were last reported so close to the mainland. One Otago helicopter company charged $500 a seat for flights to the ice.

In the latest flotilla, the largest iceberg so far sighted was 80m long.

"We first sighted them 10 (nautical) miles off the eastern entrance to Carnley Harbour in the Auckland Islands," he said.

Improved weather conditions today allowed the ship to sail close by the icebergs, which had travelled 19 nautical miles to the north.

The Spirit of Enderby left the Auckland Islands on Wednesday to sail to Macquarie Island, 600km to the southwest, and is expected to encounter more icebergs.

The crew of the vessel has been put on special `iceberg lookout' as these icebergs pose a significant risk to ships, Mr Russ said.

"We have never had `iceberg alerts' in the Subantarctic islands before," he said.

Australian scientists last week reported another mass of 20 icebergs drifting north past Macquarie Island.

Glaciologist Neal Young said satellite images showed a group of icebergs, roughly spread over an area of 1000km by 700km, moving with the ocean current away from Antarctica.

The larger icebergs looked as though they had recently been calved off one of the massive icebergs which originally broke off Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf and the Ronne Ice Shelf in 2000.

  • The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of November 21, 2009.


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    Trailers Accessories said...

    Amazing article about the wild life . penguins already face the natural disasters in ice bergs so we need to save them.... have a nice day