Reports of unusually bad ice in the North Atlantic started to emerge shortly after the Titanic disaster. At the time, US officials told the New York Times that a warm winter had caused "an enormously large crop of icebergs".In the days leading up to that fateful night, the prevailing winds and temperatures, assisted by ocean currents, had conspired to transport icebergs and sea-ice further south than was normal at that time of year.In the days leading up to that fateful night, the prevailing winds and temperatures, assisted by ocean currents, had conspired to transport icebergs and sea-ice further south than was normal at that time of year.All this has led researchers to seek explanations for a supposedly awesome flotilla of ice in the North Atlantic. One US group has proposed that an unusually close approach to Earth by the Moon caused abnormally high tides in the winter of 1912, which in turn encouraged a greater than usual amount of ice to break off Greenland's glaciers.
Now, Grant Bigg and David Wilton from Sheffield University's department of geography have challenged the idea that the Titanic was unlucky for sailing in a year when there were an exceptional number of icebergs in the North Atlantic.The new analysis found the iceberg risk was high in 1912, but not extreme, as has previously been suggested. "I think the question of whether this was an unusual year has been laid to rest," said Grant Bigg, an environmental scientist at the University of Sheffield and lead author of a study published Thursday in the journal Weather. "1912 is not an exceptional year."
Sources: 1. Bigg, G. R. and Wilton, D. J. (2014), Iceberg risk in the Titanic year of 1912: was it exceptional?. Weather, 69: 100–104. doi: 10.1002/wea.2238