Records by the navigator James Cook show that icebergs still float in the same positions today


Recent research has found that the positions of icebergs in the Southern Ocean have not changed since explorer James Cook and other early navigators recorded them. This is the first comparison of a satellite iceberg database with data from 300 years ago.

A comparison of historical records by famous navigators such as Edmond Halley, Lozier Bouvet, Edward Riou and James Cook with modern satellite data shows that icebergs in the Southern Ocean are floating in the same areas today as they were 300 years ago. That’s what Professor David G. Long of Brigham Young University (BYU) found, like the Epoch Times reported on Monday.

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A study on this was published in December 2022 Journal for Glaciology. The researchers evaluated the diaries of old seafarers. In the comparative study, Long, together with two colleagues from NASA and the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington, showed how well the ancient explorers mastered determining positions on the world’s oceans. The comparison showed that the icebergs had behaved consistently for more than 300 years, the researchers said in a press release in January. Long explained about the study:

“Where they [die alten Seefahrer] saw icebergs, today we see icebergs; where they did not see them, we do not see them.”

The researchers assessed their results as “fascinating” that the positions of the icebergs have not changed. The temperatures on earth have demonstrably increased in the last 100 to 150 years, wrote the Epoch Times. This is also the reason why climate scientists would warn of further warming and its consequences, including the melting of glaciers, the earth’s poles and icebergs.

Today, researchers can use satellites to observe icebergs from anywhere in the world, three hundred years ago only seafarers could see them. Observations of James Cook’s voyages in the years 1772 to 1775 served as the basis for the study. Accordingly, 95 percent of the historical data came from Cook’s diary “A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World”. world), in which he had recorded his own position and the position of the icebergs.

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Cook’s crew used a special watch combined with a sextant to determine longitude and position. Because this Larcum-Kendall K1 watch cost £450 – a quarter of the value of the 33-metre research vessel HMS Resolution (£1,800) – Cook had determined that the gauge could only be used in the presence of the commander, first lieutenant and ship’s astronomer .

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