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Iceberg twice as big as Manhattan breaks off from Greenland glacier

By Associated Press

POSTED:


WASHINGTON >> An iceberg twice the size of Manhattan tore off one of Greenland’s largest glaciers, illustrating another dramatic change to the warming island.

For several years, scientists had been watching a long crack near the tip of the northerly Petermann Glacier. On Monday, NASA satellites showed it had broken completely, freeing an iceberg measuring 46 square miles.

A massive ice sheet covers about four-fifths of Greenland. Petermann Glacier is mostly on land, but a segment sticks out over water like a frozen tongue, and that’s where the break occurred.

The same glacier spawned an iceberg twice that size two years ago. Together, the breaks made a large change that’s got the attention of researchers. 

“It’s dramatic. It’s disturbing,” said University of Delaware professor Andreas Muenchow, who was one of the first researchers to notice the break. “We have data for 150 years and we see changes that we have not seen before.”

“It’s one of the manifestations that Greenland is changing very fast,” he said.

Researchers suspect global warming is to blame, but can’t prove it conclusively yet. Glaciers do calve icebergs naturally, but what’s happened in the last three years to Petermann is unprecedented, Muenchow and other scientists say.

“This is not part of natural variations anymore,” said NASA glaciologist Eric Rignot, who camped on Petermann 10 years ago.

Ohio State University ice scientist Ian Howat said there is still a chance it could be normal calving, like losing a fingernail that has grown too long, but any further loss would show it’s not natural: “We’re still in the phase of scratching our heads and figuring out how big a deal this really is.”

Many of Greenland’s southern glaciers have been melting at an unusually rapid pace. The Petermann break brings large ice loss much farther north than in the past, said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo.

If it continues, and more of the Petermann is lost, the melting would push up sea levels, he said. The ice lost so far was already floating, so the breaks don’t add to global sea levels.







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rayhawaii wrote:
That's why people selling their beachfront property's.
on July 17,2012 | 04:26PM
HealthyandHappy wrote:
You can find out all about it at JunkScience.org
on July 17,2012 | 05:07PM
Grimbold wrote:
when will waikiki be under water?
on July 17,2012 | 05:16PM
SteveToo wrote:
I'm sure the Dane's are happy. More better Greenland than Iceland. Well I think it belongs to the Dane's. Maybe Norway? Iceland?
on July 17,2012 | 05:52PM
9ronboz wrote:
Where is al gore?
on July 17,2012 | 11:25PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Not to worry...I have a bottle of scotch the size of California. Ice pick anyone?
on July 17,2012 | 11:49PM
thebostitch wrote:
So they are still beating a "Dead Horse", called "Global Warming" :))))))
on July 18,2012 | 02:52AM
Lanikaula wrote:
"Researchers suspect global warming is to blame, but can’t prove it conclusively yet. Glaciers do calve icebergs naturally, but what’s happened in the last three years to Petermann is unprecedented, Muenchow and other scientists say. “This is not part of natural variations anymore,” “We’re still in the phase of scratching our heads and figuring out how big a deal this really is.” If it continues, and more of the Petermann is lost, the melting would push up sea levels..." Naaahhh, this is NOT your "Dead Horse", called "Global Warming" it's the REAL THING babooze! it's just the norm...when all this "sky is falling' quits about Global Warming it's going to be GLOBAL COLDING when nature/Mother-Earth WILL REPLACE all the ice lost as well as ALL INHABITANTS ON THIS EARTH, except maybe a few Eskimos or Samis who may know how to survive such a catastrophic natural evolution!
on July 18,2012 | 07:42AM
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