B-20, New Iceberg in the Antarctic

October 05, 2000


Provided by: NOAA
Summary authors & editors: Martin Ruzek; NOAA / Navy National Ice Center

A new iceberg, 345 square miles in area, has splintered away from Antarctic's Ross Ice Shelf in the Ross Sea. Iceberg B-20 was detected on September 27, 2000 using the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's Optical Linescan Sensor infrared imagery and reported by the National Ice Center. It is known to have broken away from the Ross Ice Shelf sometime between September 20 and 26. The exact date of splintering is currently unknown due to the extensive cloud cover that persisted over the southern Ross Sea. B-20 measures 30 by 11.5 statute miles. The polar regions play an important role in regulating global climate, and are thought to be early indicators of warming trends. The Antarctic Ice Sheet contains about 30 million cubic kilometers of ice, about 91 percent of the total volume of glacier ice on Earth.

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