[Comment on “Antartic Ice Is Smaller”] Antarctic ice: How much smaller



At the risk of ice picking, I would suggest that one reason the “Antarctic Ice is Smaller” (Eos, December 1, 1987, p. 1625) is that “Iceberg B is Larger” (than it should be). While B9 is certainly nothing to sneeze at, the 208×53-km dimensions given in the article significantly exceed the ∼160×40-km size reported on the weekly Navy/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Joint Ice Center (NNJIC) charts. The areal discrepancy (which is greater than 4500 km2) may lie in the latitude gridding of the satellite image. The middle latitude in Figure 1 of the Eos article roughly corresponds to 78°S, but the apparent outline of Cape Colbeck at the right of each image suggests that the latitude labeled 76°S may be incorrect. It is unlikely that B9 is “the largest piece of floating ice on record.”