The world’s biggest iceberg heads for disaster

Country/area: Singapore

Organisation: Reuters

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 11 Dec 2020

Credit: Marco Hernandez, Cassandra Garrison

Project description:

Reuters tracked the path of Iceberg A68a, a mass that broke from the Antarctic peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf in July 2017 as it headed for South Georgia Island, a British overseas territory in the southern Atlantic, where it appeared it could smash into a remote world teeming with wildlife.

Impact reached:

An iceberg bigger than over 66 countries was bound to turn some heads. With the backdrop of the climate crisis, our story Iceberg A68a gave readers only a glimpse of what the future holds. Although it was widely shared on social platforms, our piece delved into how icebergs have been breaking away and funneling themselves to “iceberg alley”. Replete with reporting details, the story covered how the monster floating ice island was destined for South Georgia island potentially having an adverse effect on wildlife.

Techniques/technologies used:

Multiple databases and sources had to be scoured to get a detailed account of the previous and current iceberg’s path. The iceberg was so big that demonstrating scale became very important. Satellite images were used extensively to illustrate how it moved through the South Atlantic.

What was the hardest part of this project?

Information was constantly changingas the iceberg was tracked so staying on top of the moving story while publishing such granular information was a challenge. Acquiring a string of quality satellite imagery from such a remote part of the waorld was also a challenge.

What can others learn from this project?

Remote and satellite based journalism is also valuable for telling stories when you can’t get reporters on the ground. For stories like this, it’s more effective in trying to gain an insight. 

Project links: