Scientists Capture The Moment An Iceberg Breaks Off From A Greenland Glacier

Posted: Jul 11 2018, 9:06am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Scientists Capture the Moment an Iceberg Breaks off from a Greenland Glacier
Credit: Denise Holland

The calving event took place on June 22 and reveals how Greenland has been losing its ice.

A massive iceberg that was part of a Greenland glacier has collapsed, leading to increased exposure of glacier ice to the ocean.

At four-miles, the iceberg would stretch from lower Manhattan up to Midtown in New York City. It broke off from Helheim Glacier in eastern Greenland on June 22 and captured by a team of scientists in real time.

"Global sea-level rise is both undeniable and consequential. By capturing how it unfolds, we can see, first-hand, its breath-taking significance." Lead researcher David Holland, a professor at New York University said.

Calving events do not come as a total surprise. They occur naturally. However, the new event is significant because it is a troubling sign with regards to future sea level rise. Such events could help researchers understand how glaciers will respond to natural variability and human-induced changes.

“Knowing how and in what ways icebergs calve is important for simulations because they ultimately determine global sea-level rise," said researcher Denise Holland. "The better we understand what's going on means we can create more accurate simulations to help predict and plan for climate change."

Greenland ice sheet is the second largest mass of ice on Earth after Antarctic ice. It contains enough water to cause a rise in sea level by 20 feet. However, this ice sheet is becoming small due to increased melting and warming temperatures in the region mean more loss of ice. The latest calving event also suggests that ice sheet melting is taking place with increased strength and at a speed that no models have predicted before. New video could help make more accurate predictions about calving events.

The video shows a wide and flat iceberg split and moves away from the glacier. Apart from the large chunk thin and tall icebergs known as pinnacle bergs also drift out to sea.

“The range of these different iceberg formation styles helps us build better computer models for simulating and modeling iceberg calving.” Denise Holland said.

The calving event captured on video began on June 22 at 11:30 p.m. local time and continued for approximately 30 minutes but the video sums up the whole event in just 90 seconds.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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