In most places, it’s flowers that signal the coming of spring, Newfoundland and Labrador have flowers but they also get icebergs. The icebergs break off from Baffin Island and Greenland and drift down the stretch of water along the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador known as Iceberg Alley.
The icebergs are more than welcome, even worshiped. They are a boon to the province’s travel and tourism business. From March to July adventure seekers come from around the world to see what is normally out of reach to most.
A darker side that few of the tourists consider is that this bounty of bergs is a result of a warming planet. Glaciers and ice fields in the high latitudes are melting and retreating at a unprecedented rate.
In August, 2010, an ice island calved from Greenland’s Petermann Glacier. When it first first broke away, it was twice the size of the city of Vancouver. A year later it had broken into two parts and had drifted as far south as the northern tip of the island of Newfoundland where, to the delight of tourists and tourism operators, it splintered into thousands of smaller, but still massive, icebergs.
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