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Ice to Meet You: Newfoundland Sees First 'Berg of Season

Ice to Meet You: Newfoundland Sees First 'Berg of Season”

Ferryland, a tiny Newfoundland town of roughly 500 people, got a holiday surprise over Easter weekend when a massive block of ice appeared off-shore - overshadowing people, boats and even houses on land. However, being the first of the season and arriving before schedule, the iceberg has caught the attention of shutterbugs.

"You can see off in the distance on a clear day, you can see five or six big 'bergs", said Kavanagh.

Experts are attributing the increase in uncommonly strong counter-clockwise winds that are drawing the icebergs south, and perhaps also climate change, which accelerates the process by which chunks of the Greenland ice sheet break off and float away.

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"It's a huge iceberg and it's in so close that people can get a good photograph of it", he said during a phone interview. Many of those have headed towards the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.

"I mean, a splash of Demerara rum or Newfoundland Screech over 12,000-year old-iceberg ice, it's medicinal, I tell ya", Rogers said.

It's already been a particularly busy iceberg season.

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Instead of cutting straight across the ocean, trans-Atlantic vessels are taking detours that can add around 643 kilometres to the trip.

In 2014, there were 1546 icebergs in the shipping lanes - the sixth most severe season on record since 1900, according to the patrol.

Meanwhile, Ferryland is bracing itself for more icebergs.

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It's hard to assign a single cause to the phenomenon, though the Associated Press noted earlier this month that rising Arctic temperatures and increased winds had pushed hundreds of icebergs from off coast of Greenland into North Atlantic shipping lanes months ahead of schedule.



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