The fast moving Jakobshavn Glacier of Greenland has lost a chunk of ice as large as Manhattan. This is a world record in itself.
It happens to be the speediest glacier on the face of the planet. And recently it shed a huge slab of ice that is supposedly big enough to cover all of Manhattan. The radar pics picked up by the ESA's Sentinel-1A show the Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland.
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There are images of the glacier before the event and after it. And there is a world of difference between the two. The new shape of the glacier seems to have been transferred inland.
The glacier moved towards the west before the calving took place. The area lost amounts to a total of 12.5 square kilometers. And the ice covering this huge chunk is about 1400 meters in depth.
Now that definitely is a very large land mass frozen in the form of permafrost. The Jakobshavn Glacier is a fundamental part of Greenland. It creates 10% of its icebergs too.
The glacier has parted ways with huge rinks of ice several times up until now. But this time around the event beat the previous records hands down.
In the majority of cases, icebergs are pretty large to begin with. Thus they cannot wander off far away from the mother land mass. They stay attached to the main mass of ice. That is before having melted enough to separate and float off towards their destiny.
They then either break up into small ice packs or just drift till they disintegrate under the sun’s rays. The Jakobshavn Glacier has been under scrutiny since the past 250 years or so.
It has increased our knowledge of ice flows and the climatology of the colder regions. The radar images gathered in recent times lend valuable insights. That is into the ins and outs of glacier science.
The high resolution images captured show through the clouds and mists. These of course surround the land mass that is Greenland. Two satellites are being used to monitor the land phenomena.
The info gathered comes in handy for forestation and agricultural science. The timely images can also help in the fine art of weather forecasting. Scientists meanwhile are busy studying from afar the huge chunk of ice.
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It has been surprisingly shed from the Jakobshavn Glacier. It might lend clues as to how the glacier which moves at a rate of tens of meters per day functions in its normal settings.