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Melting of Antarctic icebergs


PROPOSALS for supplying water to arid regions through the towing and utilisation of Antarctic icebergs1–5 have generated considerable interest. Simulation studies on the towing of unprotected icebergs to southern continents6 suggest that the towing distance, ocean currents and the iceberg deterioration rate are of major importance. The distance and current components may be optimised by a careful choice of iceberg position, although much further study of currents in southern latitudes is required. The rate of deterioration is probably more difficult to calculate as a number of melting and calving mechanisms may be operating. In this note some initial studies of iceberg melting are reported and some of the problems involved in further investigations are considered.

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DONALDSON, P. Melting of Antarctic icebergs. Nature 275, 305–306 (1978).

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