Two news items below report icebergs 260 kms south of NZ. Many sailing ship records from the 1890′s recorded icebergs much further north in the Southern Ocean, note 44 degrees south is near Geraldine, just south of Christchurch. Read my page;
Friday, November 3, 2006. 9:11pm (AEDT) ABC Online News
Iceberg warning for ships in Southern Ocean
An iceberg warning has been issued for ships in the Southern Ocean after more than 100 were sighted on Friday just south of New Zealand.
“We were surprised by the number of them and by how far north they were,” said squadron leader Andy Nielsen, the captain of the New Zealand Air Force Orion which found the icebergs while on a routine fisheries patrol.
“We were operating in a major shipping lane and, due to the number of these things floating around, we thought it wise that Maritime New Zealand be informed.”
Squadron leader Nielsen said they radioed in so a navigation hazard warning could be issued.
The northern most iceberg was only 260 kilometres off the New Zealand coast and the largest was estimated at two kilometres by 1.5 kilometres and more than 130 metres high.
100 icebergs only 260km off the South Island
Saturday November 4, 2006 NZ Herald
By Maggie McNaughton
A giant flotilla of 100 icebergs is passing just 260km off the coast of the South Island – the closest the glacial masses have been to this country for 70 years.
Dramatic pictures taken yesterday show the largest of the icebergs stretches 2km and towers 150 metres above the sea.
Mike Williams, physical oceanographer at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, said it was the closest recorded iceberg to New Zealand since 1931.
“It’s very rare for them to be in a place where they might come close to the South Island,” he said.
An Air Force crew on a routine fisheries patrol saw the icebergs, concentrated in two large groups, in the Southern Ocean.
Squadron Leader Andy Nielsen said that, although it was not unusual to see icebergs in the Southern Ocean, he was surprised by the number and how far north they were.
Auckland University glacial geomorphology lecturer Dr Paul Augustinus said last night that it was unusual for icebergs to travel that far north from Antarctica.
But it was unlikely to be related to global warming. “I wouldn’t like to speculate on the cause … It could relate to a number of factors such as the break-up of a larger iceberg.”