The iceberg thought to have been hit by Titanic, photographed by the chief steward of the liner Prinz Adalbert on the morning of 15 April 1912. The iceberg was reported to have a streak of red paint from a ship's hull along its waterline on one side.
Credit: Navigation Center, United States Coast Guard
While the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 is typically blamed on human, design and construction errors, a new Significance paper points to 2 other unfavorable factors outside human control: there were a greater number of icebergs than normal that year, and weather conditions had driven them further south, and earlier in the year, than was usual.
The paper also notes that iceberg discharge from glaciers is increasing, with more heavy iceberg years since the 1980s than before, and increasing global warming will likely cause this trend to continue.
"As use of the Arctic increases in the future with declining sea-ice, and as polar ice sheets are increasingly losing mass as well, the iceberg risk is likely to increase in the future, rather than decline," said co-author Professor Grant Bigg.
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- Grant Bigg, Steve Billings. The iceberg risk in theTitanicyear of 1912: Was it exceptional? Significance, 2014; 11 (3): 6 DOI: 10.1111/j.1740-9713.2014.00746.x
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Wiley. "Did an exceptional iceberg sink the Titanic?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140818113211.htm>.
Wiley. (2014, August 18). Did an exceptional iceberg sink the Titanic?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140818113211.htm
Wiley. "Did an exceptional iceberg sink the Titanic?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140818113211.htm (accessed October 20, 2016).