Menu
Kim Kardashian Leaked Photos Backlash

Kim Kardashian Leaked Photos Backlash

Mazda Miata 2016 model revealed

Mazda Miata 2016 model revealed

The Sexiest Halloween Costumes of 2014

The Sexiest Halloween Costumes of 2014

Miley Cyrus New Butt Gets in Trouble with Law

Miley Cyrus New Butt Gets in Trouble with Law

Larry Ellison Steps Down as CEO of Oracle

Larry Ellison Steps Down as CEO of Oracle

The Origin Of The Iceberg that Sank the Titanic

Apr 10 2014, 8:57am CDT | by , in News | Also on the Geek Mind

Revealed: The Origin Of The Titanic's Iceberg
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

YouTube Videos Comments

Full Story

The Origin Of The Iceberg that Sank the Titanic

The iceberg that sank the “unsinkable” RMS Titanic started its fateful journey with a period of unusually warm, wet weather four years earlier, say scientists.

“That weakened the glaciers and made them more likely to calve in the year or two preceding 1912,” Professor Grant Bigg told Forbes.

The finding, by a team at Sheffield University, overturns previous theories that high spring tides or a lack of sunspot activity caused a high number of icebergs in the North Atlantic when the Royal Mail Ship set sail on its maiden voyage.

The Titanic sighted a large iceberg, now thought to mass 2 megatonnes, shortly before midnight on 15 April and officers on the bridge acted quickly to slow her and turn to port while ordering the ship’s watertight compartments sealed. But they could not avoid a collision, and the iceberg buckled some 100 metres along her hull below the waterline. She sank less than three hours later, with only 706 of her 2,224 passengers and crew surviving.

Professor Bigg and Dr David Wilton of Sheffield University’s geography department modeled the way icebergs calve, calculating that the most likely origin for the Titanic’s killer was a fjord on the southwest coast of Greenland.

The year 1912 saw a peak in iceberg activity below the 48th parallel, with 1,038 observed. However, this matches other peaks in the decades before and after. And that was far from the most active period in the 112 years of records available to scientists. Fourteen years had higher totals, five of them in the 1990s, “almost certainly due to global warming,” Professor Bigg said.

The idea that the White Star Line’s giant liner was simply unlucky to have crossed the Atlantic during a particularly dangerous period was floated by Edward Lawrence of Britain’s Meteorological Office in 2000. He suggested that a lull in the 11-year sunspot cycle caused colder seas and more northerly winds that year, which together, which together led to more large bergs in the seas off Newfoundland.

But the Sheffield researches report a low correlation between annual sunspot activity and iceberg count over the years since.

The other astronomical theory was suggested by Texas State University’s Professor Donald Olson and lecturer Russell Doescher, along with Roger Sinnott, a senior contributing editor at Sky & Telescope magazine, in 2012, the centennial of the tragedy. They argued that a greater than usual range of tides caused by the Moon coming particularly close to the Earth in the preceding January had put extra stress on Greenland’s glaciers.

However, Bigg and Wilton note that no similar lunar approaches occur in any of the other years with high iceberg counts.

With those two hypotheses out of the way, they looked for other, more complex factors, including the Greenland ice sheet’s surface mass balance. This measures snowfall, which adds to the mass of glaciers during winter, and melting, which weakens them structurally in the summer.

They found a high correlation between this ballance and high iceberg counts four years later.

“The iceberg risk to the Titanic is likely to have predominantly developed around 1908, when a moderately warm and wet year over Greenland produced enhanced snow accumulation,” they say in their paper for Weather, a journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. “We believe that this gradually soaked through cracks in the ice sheet and accumulated around its margins, which probably led to enhanced short-term outlet glacier sliding, with resulting enhanced calving.”

 

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update


Advertisement


More From the Web

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Kim Kardashian Leaked Photos Backlash
Kim Kardashian Leaked Photos Backlash
We have a new celebrity nude photo scandal this weekend. A hacker has published nude photos of Kim Kardashian and others on 4Chan. The internet seems though to have no sympathies for Kim Kardashian's violation of privacy.
 
 
Kaley Cuoco and Jennifer Lawrence hit again in Hacker Photo Leak
Kaley Cuoco and Jennifer Lawrence hit again in Hacker Photo Leak
This weekend another big leak of private celebrity photos has hit the web. First time victims Kaley Cuoco and Jennifer Lawrence are hit again.
 
 
Nicki Minaj: A Fair Warning to Male Drivers…Dangerous Curves Ahead!
Nicki Minaj: A Fair Warning to Male Drivers…Dangerous Curves Ahead!
The Voluptuous Black Mama with Vim and Vigor and Vociferous Vibes!
 
 
Sears Black Friday
Sears Black Friday
When it comes to department stores, there are very few companies that can compete with someone like Sears. They have home appliances, clothing, power tools, and everything in between. For people who are shopping for...
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.