Your misconceptions answered

The following misconceptions and replies about the iceshelf/iceberg have been culled from sci.geo.meteorology and the IGS listserver.

Where did this happen? The Larsen or Ross iceshelf?

The iceberg was reported to have broken from the Larsen Ice Shelf. This is located at about 67 S 62 W along the Antarctic peninsula. James Ross Island (not Ross Island) is now circumnavigable. It is at 63 deg 58' S 57 deg 50'W. Ross Island is at 77 deg 30' S, 168 deg E at the Ross Ice Shelf. [sb]

What amusing mistakes have the press made?

The Reuters news agency reported that the iceberg was 656 feet 2 inches thick, implying a tremendous accuracy of measurement. It is actually 200 m thick and the reporter converted this to English units. Reuters also reported that this event was the result of a 36.5 F increase in temperature since the 1940's. It was actually a 2.5 C increase. The reporter apparently converted this to F as a temperature rather than a temperature difference. [sb]

Is this the biggest berg ever?

An iceberg from Amery Ice shelf collided with the Fimbul Ice Shelf in 1967 and created a very large iceberg. This was called "Trolltunga" and measured 8000 km2. It survived until 1979, when is broke up en route to the Cape of Good Hope. Incidentally, on the way it bumped into the mid-part of Larsen Ice Shelf, and knocked another big chunk off. [dv]
If unsourced, the responses are probably mine or colleagues. Otherwise the responses (not the original dumb questions) are due to: [sb] steven babin [dv] david vaughan