Icebergs near New Zealand, not as far north as in 1890’s

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.”

14 thoughts on “Icebergs near New Zealand, not as far north as in 1890’s”

  1. interestingly, the North Atlantic and Near Eastern Arctic appears to have cooled off a bit since last year at this time, based on the much early spread of sea ice up that way. Meanwhile, the cold PDO phase appears to be truly entrenched as we are now probably getting in the middle part of that cycle.

  2. Here in Australia theyre saying “Drought! Drought! once in a thousand year drought!”, Its NOT a drought, its a Change, droughts break, the only thing thats going to break around here is the West Antarctic ice sheet, then the change might get some attention. As the Antarctic ice shelves break off mammoth chunks the glaciers can accellerate, Global warming causes increased snowfall, in turn increasing pressure under the ice, pressure causes heat, heat causes ice melt, lubricating the whole cascading process. Whats more, the loss of such ice mass will shift the earths axis a little, makings of a very exciting change!

  3. You are spouting nonsense about conditions in Antarctica, you clearly have no idea regarding what the actual conditions are. You also are clearly not scientifically educated.

  4. C’mon, Steve. It’s always interesting to read your comments. Scaremongers like Takacs, supposedly an environmentalist, clearly have a political agenda, or in his case, maybe a little religious parrish in the middle of nowhere were he can rule indisputedly. Like so many others in this realm of debate they are not worth listening to, other than to counterpunch their stupid arguments and predictions for the climatic future. They are masquerading religion into science. And the establishment, the greens in particular, is not far from jumping on to the bandwagon either, because its a very lucrative business (for scientists, politicians and media) to scare people (the opinion, voters and taxpayers) in to the belief that mankind is on the verge of a climatic catastrophe because of the way we live our daily lifes. How would they otherwise finance their climatic scare project. Yet, the worst and most immoral thing is, that the Greens is trying to impose their technocratic politics and twisted laws and views on economics and societal topics on to the poorer and less educated people in developing countries. It’s like saying, prosperity for us, but not for you. But since we are so nice, humanistic and compassionate, you can have a little piece of the abundance we enjoy, but you must understand that you cant have it all. Capice!?

  5. Increased Ice Berg numbers?

    That merely means the ice manufacturing machine at Antarctica is working overtime but let us be wary of the implications therefrom.

    Contrary to common intuition, increasing the snow production at the poles requires not a reduction in global temperature but an increase. In order to precipitate increased ice at Antarctica increased evaporation has to occur at the earth’s equatorial regions.

    So in a simple sense, global warming will not cause a meltiing of the ice caps but an increase in their mass.

    Does this mean the earth is warming?

    We geoscientists know so little about the earth and its processes (geology in other words) but students of the thin film of gas enveloping earth seem to know everthing.


    Despite the general percieved ideology in terms of polar caps melting, the Kyoto protocol in place should constantly be reviewed for public reassurance in the presence of epics such as this. While scare tactics or publicity stunts for funding (supposeably) continue, scientific investigation is relevant for the globe. In contrary to the primitive technology and foresight we possess currently, without past ventures and research of scientists and environmentalists in the past we would not be notably currently this advanced. Noticeably this occupation and field area is not an accumulation of falsities and bluffs continually contributed to by a collective team of scientists/environmentalists in different era’s. Once there is realisation of the skeptical and cynical thinkers for the importance of these ‘tologies’, respect will be paid and manifestations from these studies will potentially be more precise as more funding and seriousness will be given. For today’s issues are tomorrow’s catastrophies.

  7. Has anybody considered that any change in rainfall patters (if indeed there is a change – do we have enough good information to be able to tell?) might be due to deforestation?

    I know that deforestation has been blamed for changes in rainfall patters in other countries. Why not Australia? Why isn’t that a more obvious explanation than whatever is the latest alarmist claim about the global climate?

  8. Nicholas,
    Could be, but I think the more likely explanation is that we are a few months into an El Nino event that brings drought to Australia, in general terms, and extra rainfall to the N American Continent, because of the alteration to the wind patterns in the Pacific. This is a cyclical event, and has little to do with ‘Global Warming’.

    Deforestation does seem to alter climate, but I would like to see figures on regrowth of scrub that seems to be going ahead in eastern Australia because of restrictions on cultivating or removing weedy infestations on western leases, I think the regrowth would exceed clearing.

    On a minute personal scale, I find it interesting that growing vegetables in containered beds, to conserve watering, that the beds with small weeds, chickweed etc, (which I clip for the hens) remain moister than weeded beds. Perhaps a few experiments on broad acres with say, subclover and wheat could reduce evaporation and increase fertility at the same time.

  9. The shade from the leaves of the weeds would be decreasing evaporation, both because the surface of the soil is cooler, but also because the air around the plants is cooler.
    But some of the moisture evaporating from the soil could also be condensing on the leaves of the weeds and dripping back down, in effect creating a micro climate with its own evaporative cycle.
    The same happens in forests too, in a much more powerful way because the canopy will block out far more of the sunlight.
    Wallking into a healthy mature forest with a complete canopy I can often feel the temperature drop by 10 degrees or even more.
    Such a forest is far more likely to withstand a bushfire, for obvious reasons.
    Slash and burn practices have changed the microclimates of the forests in South East Asia and South America.
    Thirty years ago the moisture content of the soil, the plants and the air, combined with the lower temperature, meant that slash and burn fires could be lit and would extinguish themselves. Now that’s not the case anymore.
    Unfortunately I don’t think modern logging practices are doing much for Australian forests in that department either.
    I won’t even touch on clearfelling, but even selective machine logging with heavy machinery such as buncher/felllers, sniggers and dozers can’t but damage the canopy and the soil of the forest, and hence destroy it’s micro climate.
    Disturbing the soil and bringing direct sunlight onto it creates an ideal environment for weeds.
    Perhaps the weeds are just the beginning of the long process back to a balanced, mature forest system system. And in some small way they probably increase the soil’s moisture retention as in your garden bed example.
    But if a fire comes through before the micro climate is reestablished, the presence of the weeds will make for a much hotter fire, probably one that will kill the trees rather than just singe the bark and germinate the seeds.
    Sorry, my small contribution has turned into an essay.
    Your thoughts?

  10. Clay, you betray a bias based on humid midlatitude and tropical equatorial forests. What about forests in wet-dry climate zones? Is not fire part of their life cycle, in many cases, even necessary? Succession in wet-dry forests is not as straightforward as it is in ones in consistently humid places.

  11. this is the biggest load of drivel I have ever read.

    Listed under “errors in IPCC climate change” I expected to find something which might actually talk about something in IPCC and an error.

    Instead I find monkeys at a typewriter.

    Good luck to you.

  12. Hasn’t anyone noticed the close correlation between earth’s climate and solar activity in the past few hundred years. Have a look how the little ice age which began in 1650 coincides with sunspot numbers? Have a look at – the link under the Maunder Minimum (38kb JPEG image). It also shows high activity over the past 100 years. This seems to be a stronger correlation than anything I’ve seen re CO2 etc.

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