Most of the icebergs painted in white or blue, but in the early XX century, sailors discovered another kind of ice blocks — they have a green tint. Their unusual appearance has long puzzled scientists, because they couldn’t find him a decent explanation. After many years it seems that the answer has finally been found, researchers from Washington University announced that the icebergs are colored in green due to the abundance of iron oxide.
These oxides are taken from the bedrock of Antarctica — the stones are ground into powder under the influence of friction of the glaciers and washed into the sea by streams of cold water, and then these tiny particles become an integral part of green icebergs. In addition, their composition also includes dissolved sea plants and animals that have long floated in the water.
Iron is an important food for aquatic inhabitants like phytoplankton, however, it is missing in many parts of the ocean. Quite possibly, green icebergs are the only source of iron for some sea creatures, so researchers compared them with the “waiters” that bring the hungry organisms nutritious food.
This is similar to the delivery of the parcel to a post office. The iceberg can deliver this iron to the far reaches of the ocean to melt, and to provide phytoplankton decent food.
Stephen Warren, glaciologist
As a rule, green icebergs tend to be relatively small. The square white blocks of ice, sometimes striking — for example, NASA recently found a lump with an area of 1,7 thousand square kilometers. Its size can compare with London, or even a small African country.
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