Aug 20, 2019 | Updated: 11:45 AM EDT

Icebergs Swarm The North Atlantic Shipping Lanes, Scientists Blame Climate Change

Apr 06, 2017 07:05 PM EDT

Greenland: A Laboratory For The Symptoms Of Global Warming
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images) An iceberg swarm floats in the North Atlantic and climate change was blamed for irregular number of these risky shipping lane obstructions.

Rogue icebergs are drifting aimlessly along the North Atlantic shipping lanes and threatening the sea vessels. A staggering 450 icebergs are making the routes painstakingly slow. Some ships were forced to take alternate routes while others have to detour. Experts believe that this unusual swarm is a result of climate change.

Currently, there is a counter-clockwise strong wind that icebergs these icebergs. The chunks were traced from Greenland ice sheet and they are slowly floating southward. Thanks to climate change, these icebergs are obstructing the shipping lanes. In the process, it accounts for unnecessary additional expenses on shipping companies who zigzag to avoid them. Ship captains are also beginning to complain about the additional fuel they needed to burn just to swerve away from obstructions, according to The Philadelphia Tribune.

Shipping companies lament that there is an incident where one ship collided with an iceberg. Further, it is taking them an additional of 1.5 days to traverse the shipping lane, The Guardian reported. They are also keeping a low 3 knots as a precautionary measure. Coupled with the strong wind pattern, this scenario will only escalate as the climate change intensifies, according to the Pennsylvania State University director Michael Mann.

The US Coast Guard stationed at New London, Connecticut has already issued a warning on all shipping vessels. Although it is normal for icebergs to float in the North Atlantic, climate change makes the current swarm far above the average of 80 icebergs.

If there is any case that made icebergs infamous among sailors, the 1912 sinking of Titanic is the classic example. In fact, some of the present icebergs are floating adrift in the area where the Titanic sank. This swarm also marked the fourth consecutive season when icebergs' increasing number was attributed to climate change. The most severe case was in 2015 when a record of 1165 icebergs swarms the North Atlantic.

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