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.

Related Articles


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 November 26, 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 November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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