Home Science Global Warming: Huge Chunk Breaks Off Greenland Glacier

Global Warming: Huge Chunk Breaks Off Greenland Glacier

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The evidence that climate change and global warming are real and a threat to mankind continues to pile up. The most recent piece of evidence is news that Greenland’s famous Jakobshavn Glacier has just calved off a huge chunk, in one of the largest glacier calvings ever recorded. Of interest, the iceberg that sank the Titantic is thought to have broken off from the Jakobshavn glacier.

Experts say the Jakobshavn Glacier is one of the fastest-melting glaciers on the planet.

More details on Jakobshavn Glacier calf and connection to global warming

Based on data from the European Space Agency, the iceberg that separated from the glacier has an area of 12.5 square kilometers and is nearly 1,400 meters deep. The total volume of the massive iceberg is projected at close to 17.5 cubic kilometers.

The ice chunk broke off from Greenland’s Jakobshavn Glacier between August 14 and 16. according to members of the Arctic Sea Ice Forum who monitor the area. Some members of the group speculated that the recent calf may be the biggest ever from a glacier in Greenland.

Pennsylvania State University glaciologist Richard Alley wasn’t so sure. “Overall, I don’t think that they really can nail the ‘largest’ [calving event] or not,” he noted. “I wouldn’t get too excited on this, even though it is not good news.

There is no doubt that Greenland is a huge contributor to the current rise in sea levels (around a  millimeter per year), and all of its ice together represents a potential 20 feet of total sea level rise. However, given all of the area involved and technical limitations, researchers are simply not able to monitor all of the losses of Greenland’s ice sheet with great accuracy.

Another worrisome consideration related to global warming is that the calving of the huge iceberg has apparently moved the face of the Jakobshavn glacier to a new record level. Glaciologists also note that the more the glacier loses additional pieces of ice, the more likely it is that new icebergs break off in the future.

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