46 Square Miles Of Iceberg Break Off In Greenland (Video)

A huge iceberg that’s about twice the size of Manhattan has torn off the Petermann Glacier in Greenland, 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, July 16, NASA satellites showed it had broken completely, freeing an iceberg measuring 46 square miles.

About four-fifths of Greenland is covered by a massive ice sheet; Petermann Glacier is mostly on land, but a segment sticks out over water, and that’s where the break occurred.

From NPR:

“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.

Many of Greenland’s southern glaciers have been melting at an unusually rapid pace.

It was 15 years ago that my nephew set out on a trek across Greenland, sponsored by Britain’s Royal Geographical Society (RGS). The RGS had supplied him with a topographical map dating back to the 60s, but so much snow and ice had melted since then that the map was of little use in terms of altitude.

According to Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, the Petermann break brings large ice loss much farther north than in the past. If it continues, and more of the Petermann is lost, the melting would push up sea levels.

It’s more than glaciers in Greenland that are melting. Scientists also reported this week that the Arctic had the largest sea ice loss on record for June.

The Artic Sea Ice Blog has posted video taken in June 2011 of some of that iceberg’s chunks.

You can watch it here:

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Photo Credit: screenshot from Youtube video


Iona Kentwell
Iona Kentwell4 years ago

And yet we continue on our merry oblivious way. Governments subsidize companies that are poisoning our planet while arresting individuals who are standing up against the destruction of our future. Insanity.

Steven Silas
Steven Silas4 years ago

Well, it's good to know that global warming is charging full steam ahead. If the Titanic were to sale today, would it even sink?

Will Rogers
Will Rogers5 years ago

At least this is something that most people are in agreement with! And let's stop arctic icebreaker tourism as well! The 1st icebreaker to reach the North Pole was in 1977, but N.Pole icebreaker tourism started in 1989. Here's a video link


Michael C.
Michael C5 years ago

Carl W, Slow down, you will choke on your bottle of Assure, no sense in wetting your Depends, I hear that they are expensive.

I to, am over 60 and like you, my wife and I participated in disaster relief, such as, we coordinated the setup of field kitchens after Hurricane Andrew. The toughest job, I will ever love.
Another in the aftermath of the major disaster caused by rains in Villahermosa, Mexico, there I operated a water purification system that process 22,000 liters of potable water per day.

I would go one, but I for one, will not join a circle jerk. I will chalk this on up to an advanced state of senility.

Carl W.
Carl Coloeman5 years ago

Hey, "Michael C," I'M over 60, and stopped counting after saving an estimated 80 lives, also we had "Ecology Week" @ college, where we cleaned up the beaches in Sarasota, FL.

MY generation STARTED recycling, and lead to the eventual creation of the E.P.A.

I'm also a leader in volunteer emergency care for the needy, trained in emergency medical, C.P.R, Lifeguard, U. S. Coast Guard Aux, served as VOLUNTEER for 1 month in "Katrina," & sit here supporting all kinds of humane legislation. Think you'll do half that by the time you're 60?

Valentina R.
Valentina R5 years ago

Is the poll a joke? I mean, really, who the hell makes them? Fire that person now.

Saddening news for sure.

Ralph G.
Ralph G.5 years ago

Micahel C. sets a good example and infers a very good point.

How can we do the same for New York with its densely populated 8 million people?

Michael C.
Michael C5 years ago

David m, It appears that none of the polluters are listening to you and I, they are too busy hiding their ill gotten gains and sending them offshore, just like Mitt the Sh*t Romney.

David, you and I are lucky, it's an age thing, but think of the many horrors that our youth will have to endure from our actions.

I, for one, believe that all of us over the age of 60 must surrender ourselves to the Hague, to stand for crimes against humanity and all the other creatures.

Yet, I have a defense, we have been solar and wind powered for over 30 years, we produce our own fuel, BioDiesel. We grow the majority of our own food by way of our Aquaponics (both Tilapia and produce) Station and sell much of what is left at our farmers markets. Where we can, we trade with others for what we do not produce.

We have composting toilets, we compost our veggie "waste," we raise chickens and guess what? We live only 19 miles from Tucson, AZ, the dry hate state.

When our vehicles enter the property, we use our golf carts, which are solar powered.

A recent survey shows that the average American produces 2.6# of garbage each day, my wife and I produce less than 2.6# of garbage in two weeks.

All of that and we still find time to donate our labour at our community food bank, go figure.

Thanks, David

David Menard
David Menard5 years ago

Do the Big oil coal CEO's and GOP CC deniers think their money will save their asses now that their chickens are coming home to roost?

Michael C.
Michael C5 years ago

Forget about Global Climate Change (GCC), we are too far gone to be saved from our own willful destruction. To halt GCC, we would have to stop all human activity, the best we can expect is to mitigate our end.

Want to consider a clear and present danger...Obummer just gave the Jews in Occupied Palestine $70 Million USD in Military Aid.

It should have been $70 Million in Aid to feed the Palestinian People.

Work for Peace, not willful destruction. Has America forgotten that we were once a Great Nation...Now all the world sees is the Late Great Nation, America, called...Americorp.