Do Icebergs Still Threaten Ships in the North Atlantic?

The tragic sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912 was considered a freak event, since the gigantic ship was labeled "unsinkable" and the presence of an enormous iceberg along its route was deemed highly unlikely. But if recent figures are to be believed, more ships than ever are in danger of meeting a similar fate. According to a University of Sheffield study, the North Atlantic Ocean is becoming more prone to free-floating icebergs as global warming continues to heat the Earth. The warm temperatures mean that more chunks of ice are breaking free from Arctic shelves, and any new snowfall pushes them south, into shipping lanes. And although 1912 was unusual in terms of the number of icebergs sighted in the area (1,038 icebergs in total), it barely rates when compared to recent decades, with more and more icebergs appearing at sea in the milder temperatures.

Titanic trivia:

  • The RMS Titanic cost $7.5 million USD to build (the equivalent of around $400 million USD today) and required the efforts of 3,000 shipbuilders.

  • The Titanic was equipped to carry up to 64 lifeboats, but it sailed on its ill-fated mission with only 20 in tow.

  • Launched in 2016, the Harmony of the Seas cruise ship stretches 1,188 feet (362 m) in length -- almost 300 feet (94 m) longer than the Titanic.

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More Info: Quartz

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