Ross Iceberg B15 ends 12 years after it broke off
When Terra Earth Observation Satellite was launched by NASA in December of 1999 the timing was perfect. In March of 2000, the largest iceberg ever seen broke away from the Ross Ice Shelf.. The iceberg , dubbed B-15, was a over 170 miles long and 25 miles wide, about the size of Connecticut. Terra managed to capture the creation one of the largest icebergs ever to be captured by any satellite. The stunning images of this were clear evidence that something was going on with the climate and could not be ignored. With instruments like MODIS NASA had the right tool in the right place at the right time.
Now that iceberg, labeled B-15 has finally broken up, 12 years later. “It’s not unusual for icebergs to survive for up to a quarter century if they stay near their birthplace, in the frigid waters surrounding Antarctica; yet if they stray too far north, the massive chunks of ice can quickly disappear”, said Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
The image above is actually of iceberg B15-A, the largest fragment from the break-up of the mega-berg B15. You can see an image of the entire B15 iceberg shortly after calving from the Ross Ice Shelf at //visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=54349.
Remnants of the original B15 mega-berg are still being tracked – see //antarcticsun.usap.gov/science/contenthandler.cfm?id=4081