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Iceberg Melting and Climate Change in NW Atlantic Waters
1 United States Merchant Marine Academy, NY, Kings Point, United States
ABSTRACT: Climate change is predicted to cause increases in sea surface temperature (SST), as well as decreases in sea-ice cover, wind and current velocities. These changes will have a marked effect on iceberg melting in the shipping lanes off Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Icebergs that today can cross from northern Labrador to Newfoundland without melting will in the future have to be much larger to survive the transit. For example, icebergs at N Labrador in December of 2016 that are smaller than 156 m will melt before reaching 48N, but in year 2100 the length increases to 228 m. In addition, if future iceberg size distributions off Labrador are the same as today, icebergs will experience roughly 50% reductions in numbers in the NW Atlantic shipping lanes by year 2100. The increased melting rates are due to, in order of importance, increased sea-surface temperatures (responsible for 66% of the increase in the minimum transit size), decreasing current velocities (31%), and decreasing sea-ice cover (3%). Decreasing sea-ice tends to increase wave heights as well as accelerate the effects of wave erosion; however, for the areas studied the wave height is predicted to decrease moderately in year 2100, by a maximum of about 10% in December.
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Citation note:
Perez-Gruszkiewicz S., Peterson W.: Iceberg Melting and Climate Change in NW Atlantic Waters. TransNav, the International Journal on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation, Vol. 12, No. 3, doi:10.12716/1001.12.03.04, pp. 459-467, 2018
Authors in other databases:
Sergio Perez-Gruszkiewicz: Scopus icon55173658800
William Peterson:

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