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Event Details

Polar Melting event report

Category: Polar Melting
Observation: 26.11.2009
Continent: Australia & New Zealand
Country: New Zealand
Area: Macquarie Island Area
Severity: Hight
Event details
More than 100 icebergs - and possibly more to follow - are drifting toward the coast of New Zealand in an exceptionally rare occurrence. The unusual event has prompted officials to issue a shipping warning in the area. A glaciologist for the Australian Antarctic Division said the massive ice chunks were spotted by satellite photography heading past the Auckland Islands and towards the main South Island. Once scientist said there were approximately 100 icebergs in a cluster, leading him to believe there were hundreds more not far behind. He said the pieces of ice measured up to 650 feet in diameter. They broke off from much larger ice floe due to air and temperature changes caused by global warming. The last time the icebergs floated close to New Zealand was in 2006. The first-ever sighting of the massive frozen masses was in 1931. Scientists said they can expect to see more pieces of ice floating in their area if the Earth's climate continues to get warmer. As a publicity stunt by the country's wool industry, a sheep was flown out to once of the icebergs to be shorn.
Event map:
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