Iceberg A23-A is on the move

Iceberg A23-A is the world’s biggest iceberg that has been stuck to the ocean floor for more than 30 years.

Scientists believe the A23-A’s breakaway from Antarctica was a natural occurrence, but say it provides a stark reminder of the potentially disastrous implications as global sea levels rise.

It split away from the Antarctic coastline in 1986 and became an ice island in the Weddell Sea. It is about 4,000 sq km (1,500 sq miles) in area, which is more than twice the size of Greater London, and 400m (1,312 ft) thick, which is taller than the London Shard.

On the move

Recently, it has started to move at a faster pace and is now about to leave the Antarctic waters. Scientists believe it has lost its grip on the sea floor and is being pushed by winds and currents. It is likely to follow the path of other icebergs from the Weddell Sea and head towards the South Atlantic, where it will eventually melt and break apart.

Map of Antartica showing Weddell Sea

A23-A Iceberg moving through the Weddell Sea


Icebergs are important for the ocean ecosystem, as they carry fresh water and nutrients that support marine life. They also affect the climate, as they reflect sunlight and cool the air. Iceberg A23-A is a remarkable natural phenomenon that has been observed for decades by researchers and satellites.

This is not happening because of climate change – it is a natural process of nature.

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