In this graphic provided by the European Space Agency containing modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2020), processed by the Sentinel Hub, shows a iceberg floating towards the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia.
The iceburg is now travelling through open waters but is just a few hundred kilometers away from the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia.
After drifting around 870 miles north through "iceberg alley", A68a is presently about 300 miles southwest of the island, which hosts large populations of seals, penguins and albatross. The BBC describes it as the biggest iceberg in the world at 93 miles long, 30 miles wide, and about 650 feet thick.
The incoming iceberg would also crush organisms and their seafloor ecosystem, which would need decades or centuries to recover.More news: EPL likely to scrap PPV claims new report
The grounding of the iceberg would disturb the soft sediment on the seabed, polluting the surrounding seas, ecologists say.
"When you talk about penguins and seals in the time that is really critical for them - during the rearing of puppies and chicks - the actual distance they have to travel to find food ... really matters".
"If they have to make massive detours around the iceberg to make the same trip they normally would, they likely won't be able to get back in time (to feed their young)", Tarling explained.
Interestingly, this encounter was predicted as early as 2017.More news: Hellish ‘lava planet’ suffering supersonic winds and ROCK RAIN discovered
Icebergs breaking off from Antarctica often break open in the South Atlantic and are nicknamed the "iceberg cemetery" in the region.
Tarling said there is a glass-half-full perspective to consider.
BAS remote-sensing and mapping specialist Dr Peter Fretwell said: "Whether it grounds and gets stuck or drifts past the island is in the balance".
The ice follows a route that historically ends in South Georgia. But "it's very hard to say precisely what will happen", he said in the BAS release. Icebergs hold on to vast quantities of dust, which fertilize ocean plankton - major players in the marine food web and also consumers of atmospheric carbon dioxide. We'll be watching these developments closely.More news: Fed begins meeting as U.S. vote yet to be decided