Shipping lanes in the North Atlantic are being affected by a higher number than usual of icebergs
The Canadian Press
credits: Bettmann/ CORBIS
Photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard and made by a robotic camera
U.S. Coast Guard via Associated Press
This March 2017 photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard and made by a robotic camera aboard a reconnaissance aircraft, shows icebergs floating near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic Ocean (photo above).
More than 400 icebergs have drifted into the North Atlantic shipping lanes over the past week in an unusually large swarm for this early in the season, forcing vessels to slow to a crawl or take detours of hundreds of miles.
Experts are attributing it to uncommonly strong counter-clockwise winds that are drawing the icebergs south, and perhaps also global warming, which is accelerating the process by which chunks of the Greenland ice sheet break off and float away.
As of Monday, there were about 450 icebergs near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, up from 37 a week earlier, according to the U.S. Coast Guard's International Ice Patrol in New London, Connecticut. Those kinds of numbers are usually not seen until late May or early June. The average for this time of year is about 80.
Captain Edward J. Smith went down with the Titanic
In the waters close to where the Titanic went down in 1912, the icebergs are forcing ships to take precautions.
Coast Guard Cmdr. Gabrielle McGrath, who leads the ice patrol, said she has never seen such a drastic increase in such a short time.
Adding to the danger, three icebergs were discovered outside the boundaries of the area the Coast Guard had advised mariners to avoid, she said. Read more