Green icebergs, is it possible?

Since we were little we have always seen blocks of ice as white as snow in movies or cartoons. But this thought does not have to be the only one, here we tell you why.

Since the early 20th century, explorers and navigators have reported sightings of strange icebergs that, instead of being white or blue, were emerald green in the Antarctic realm.

Originating from snowfall, glacier ice flows from the Antarctic ice sheet to float in the ocean as ice shelves. At the front of the ice shelf, the icebergs break up. They appear bluish-white, somewhere between the blue of pure ice and the white of snow, because the glacier ice contains numerous light-scattering bubbles.

Glaciologists have suggested in a new study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, that iron oxides in the rock dust of the Antarctic mainland are turning some icebergs green.

Iron is a key nutrient for phytoplankton, the microscopic plants that form the base of the marine food web.

If the experiments prove the new theory correct, this would mean that the green icebergs are transporting iron from the continent of Antarctica to the open sea when they break up, providing this key nutrient to the organisms that support almost all marine life, something important because iron is in short supply in many areas of the ocean.

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