Rights: The University of Waikato Published 21 June 2007 Download

Dr Mike Williams from NIWA explains what effect the iceberg B15 had on the penguin colony nearby when it blocked the inlet to McMurdo Sound.


B15 did sort of arrive in the night, but it arrived in the 6 months of night that we have in Antarctica. It wasn’t like we got up the next day and there it was. The whole time we were working in McMurdo Sound we couldn’t see it. It was 50 to 60 kilometres away.

While B15 was across the end of McMurdo Sound, it had quite a large effect on penguins that nest in McMurdo Sound. Because with the iceberg there, the sea ice wasn’t able to go out, so instead of the penguins having open sea to go fishing in, they had a big solid ice sheet. So they had to cross that ice to find food, and that meant many of them didn’t have success raising their chicks that year.

Josh Landis, National Science Foundation (USA)