Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Enormous 4 mile long iceberg filmed breaking from Greenland glacier


A team of scientists from New York University caught a stunning sight on video when they witnessed an iceberg breaking away from a glacier.

David Holland, an NYU professor responsible of leading the expedition to Greenland who described the Helheim glacier calving to be as wide and shallow "like a pancake" has clarified that a single section of this iceberg is just as big as lower and midtown Manhattan put together, and in this case being thrown into the ocean and sending it to drift until it eventually melts, causing global sea levels to rise.

Denise Holland, from New York University, filmed the fragmenting Helheim Glacier on June 22, while researching the causes of rising sea levels around the world.

The event lasted more than 30 minutes, but the movie was compressed to about 90 seconds. This attracted a lot of attention to an extraordinary event, because such data was compared to the distance from the bottom to the middle of Manhattan in NY.

This is what it looks like when an iceberg calves from a glacier.

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This phenomenon, also known as calving (the breaking off of large blocks of ice from a glacier), may also be instructive to scientists and policy makers.

"Global sea-level rise is both undeniable and consequential". "By capturing how it unfolds, we can see, first-hand, its breath-taking significance".

Thus far, according to the NYU scientists, the Thwaites Glacier-part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet-has already drained a mass of water that's roughly the size of Florida. "The better we understand what's going on means we can create more accurate simulations to help predict and plan for climate change". Meanwhile, smaller pinnacle icebergs, which are tall and thin, can be seen calving off and flipping over.

"The range of these different iceberg formation styles helps us build better computer models for simulating and modeling iceberg calving", explains Denise Holland. The research is centered on the Thwaites Glacier. "And here we can see his wonderful significance", notes the study's lead author David Holland, Professor, Institute of mathematics NY.

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