Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Conventional theories about Titanic disaster put on ice: Risk of icebergs higher now than in 1912

Date:
April 9, 2014
Source:
University of Sheffield
Summary:
Scientists have dispelled a long-held theory that the Titanic was unlucky for sailing in a year with an exceptional number of icebergs and say the risk of icebergs is actually higher now. Previously it had been suggested that the seas which sank the famous cruise ship -- which set off on its maiden voyage 102 years ago today (10 April 2014) -- had an exceptional number of icebergs caused by lunar or solar effects. But academics have shown that 1912 was a significant ice year but not extreme.

Icebergs in eastern Greenland.
Credit: Picture by Dr Julie Jones.

Academics at the University of Sheffield have dispelled a long-held theory that the Titanic was unlucky for sailing in a year with an exceptional number of icebergs and say the risk of icebergs is actually higher now.

Previously it had been suggested that the seas which sank the famous cruise ship -- which set off on its maiden voyage 102 years ago today (Thursday 10 April 2014) -- had an exceptional number of icebergs caused by lunar or solar effects.

But academics at the University have shown the ship wasn't voyaging in an extreme year.

Using data on iceberg locations dating back to 1913 -- recorded to help prevent a repeat of the Titanic -- they have shown that 1912 was a significant ice year but not extreme.

Professor Grant Bigg who led the research, said: "We have seen that 1912 was a year of raised iceberg hazard, but not exceptionally so in the long term. The year 1909 recorded a slightly higher number of icebergs and more recently the risk has been much greater -- between 1991 and 2000 eight of the ten years recorded more than 700 icebergs and five exceeded the 1912 total."

He added: "As use of the Arctic, in particular, increases in the future with the declining sea-ice the ice hazard will increase in water not previously used for shipping. As polar ice sheets are increasingly losing mass as well, the iceberg risk is likely to increase in the future, rather than decline."

The iceberg which sank the Titanic was spotted just before midnight on 14 April 1912 500m away. Despite quick action to slow the ship it wasn't enough and the ship sank in just two and a half hours. The disaster saw 1,517 people perish and only 700 survive.

Funding for the research, published in the journal Weather, was provided by the National Environment Research Council (NERC).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Sheffield. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Sheffield. "Conventional theories about Titanic disaster put on ice: Risk of icebergs higher now than in 1912." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140409204325.htm>.
University of Sheffield. (2014, April 9). Conventional theories about Titanic disaster put on ice: Risk of icebergs higher now than in 1912. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140409204325.htm
University of Sheffield. "Conventional theories about Titanic disaster put on ice: Risk of icebergs higher now than in 1912." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140409204325.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins