Kiwis and icebergs — they go together well

This post has been in the works for several weeks now but it hasn’t lost its fascination. A story appeared in the NZ Herald on 8 November about the latest sighting of icebergs, which annoyed me for its references to global warming. But on investigating I discovered some interesting science.

Icebergs are beautiful

Let’s do something for the language
There’s no collective noun for icebergs (the situation is worse than we thought!). Here are some suggestions: a group, a herd, a glide, a float, a thunder, sizzle, swish, a gleam, a crackle or a slush? That has a lovely rhythm. Let me know your preference, or send in your suggestions. When the list is a bit longer we’ll put up an online poll.

The story is stale and the icebergs have melted, but two issues remain: The first is that there’s nothing new about icebergs floating past New Zealand. It doesn’t happen often, but evidence proves regular visits going back millennia. Believe it or not, we have photographs! Not of icebergs exactly, but where they’ve been… well, you’ll see, read on.

The second point is that NIWA scientists can be relied on to mention the magic words “climate change” any time they’re talking about ice, water, wind or weather and that, my friends, makes me angry. Continue Reading →