Why Scientists Do Not Research Icebergs
If you have ever wondered why scientists do not research icebergs, you are not alone. There are a number of reasons, including flaws in the science behind icebergs, the effect of towing on marine life, and the cost of processing icebergs. You may even want to consider getting a group together to do this research.
Getting people together to research icebergs
Icebergs are a big part of our global climate system. Scientists are trying to understand how they are formed, how they interact with water and rock, and why they break away. This information can help us better understand the way glaciers are changing and affect sea levels. Researchers also want to understand what controls iceberg production and how it varies each year. That’s what’s behind the MITberg project.
Beers and collaborators collected data from thousands of ice patrol logs. These logs often included narratives about icebergs, as well as charts showing their location. Unfortunately, these data aren’t always reliable. The researchers also relied on Coast Guard logs, as well as archival records and notices published in maritime journals. Together, these records represent 300,000 individual sightings over a 134-year period.
Flaws in icebergs
There is no definite answer to the question of whether there are flaws in icebergs. The icebergs that we observe on the ocean’s surface are extremely small. Approximately 95 percent of them have a cross-sectional area of 100 m2 or less. Most of them are classified as Class I or Class II. Their melange coverage was similar in spring and fall months.
We believe that flaws in icebergs arise from the processes of iceberg decay. Our observational study shows that as icebergs move away from the calving front, their size-frequency distribution becomes more irregular. This distribution has significant implications for the interpretation of palaeoclimate indicators.
Impact of iceberg towing on marine life
The Canadian oil and gas industry regularly tows icebergs from offshore platforms. The icebergs are typically smaller than those found in the Antarctic and are usually between 60 and 80 metres in width at the waterline. Nevertheless, they can weigh up to a million tons. Icebergs are often towed by using a rope slung between two vessels. The icebergs are towed for a few dozen kilometres, out of the way of oil and gas platforms.
Concerns about iceberg towing were first raised in 1989 at a meeting of the Antarctic Treaty, which noted the lack of scientific information on the environmental impact of iceberg towing. It also noted the need for an environmental impact assessment before any commercial exploitation of Antarctic ice should go ahead. But a UAE firm’s plan to tow an iceberg from an Australian external territory off Antarctica to Cape Town is being scrutinised by the Antarctic Treaty.
Cost of processing icebergs
The cost of processing icebergs for water supply is one of the major questions facing the water industry in Australia. Since 1973, Australia has been seriously considering the potential use of icebergs as water resources. This has led to a number of augmentation alternatives and demand management strategies. The cost of processing icebergs for water is based on two key factors: the amount of water used and the cost of processing the iceberg.
Despite the rising costs of iceberg processing, the energy required to process them remains fairly constant, regardless of volume. The costs of ponding and locking are the highest, but decrease as the volume of the iceberg increases. Other considerations, such as the environmental impact, will be explored in the next paper.