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Massive ice island breaks off Greenland

Posted by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 4:25 PM
  • 5 Replies


Greenland's Petermann Glacier in 2009. Researchers say a quarter of the ice shelf has broken away.

(CNN) -- A piece of ice four times the size of Manhattan island has broken away from an ice shelf in Greenland, according to scientists in the U.S.

The 260 square-kilometer (100 square miles) ice island separated from the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland early on Thursday, researchers based at the University of Delaware said.

The ice island, which is about half the height of the Empire State Building, is the biggest piece of ice to break away from the Arctic icecap since 1962 and amounts to a quarter of the Petermann 70-kilometer floating ice shelf, according to research leader Andreas Muenchow.

"The freshwater stored in this ice island could keep the Delaware or Hudson rivers flowing for more than two years. It could also keep all U.S. public tap water flowing for 120 days," Muenchow said.

Muenchow's team is studying ice in the Nares Strait separating Greenland from Canada, about 1,000 kilometers south of the North Pole.

Satellite data from NASA's MODIS-Aqua satellite revealed the initial rupture which was confirmed within hours by Trudy Wohlleben of the Canadian Ice Service, according to the University of Delaware website.

Muenchow said the island could block the Nares Strait as it drifts south, or break into smaller islands and continue towards the open waters of the Atlantic.

"In Nares Strait, the ice island will encounter real islands that are all much smaller in size," he said.

"The newly born ice island may become land-fast, block the channel, or it may break into smaller pieces as it is propelled south by the prevailing ocean currents. From there, it will likely follow along the coasts of Baffin Island and Labrador, to reach the Atlantic within the next two years."

Environmentalists say ice melt is being caused by global warming with Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reaching their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years, according to a study published in 2009.

Current trends could see the Arctic Ocean become ice free in summer months within decades, researchers predict.

by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 4:25 PM
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Replies (1-5):
SRiveroC
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 4:32 PM

 

Quote:

Environmentalists say ice melt is being caused by global warming with Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reaching their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years, according to a study published in 2009.


Yet we continue to ignore the fact that Climate Change is real, its happening and if we dont address it we wont be able to reverse it.

survivorinohio
by René on Aug. 7, 2010 at 5:10 PM


Quoting SRiveroC:

 

Quote:

Environmentalists say ice melt is being caused by global warming with Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reaching their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years, according to a study published in 2009.


Yet we continue to ignore the fact that Climate Change is real, its happening and if we dont address it we wont be able to reverse it.

I just wanted to say I really really like that bumper sticker in your siggy!

                                                 

   
                                             

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong, because sometime in life you will have been one or all of these. George Washington Carver

gigirocks
by Bronze Member on Aug. 7, 2010 at 6:01 PM


Quoting survivorinohio:


Quoting SRiveroC:

 

Quote:

Environmentalists say ice melt is being caused by global warming with Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reaching their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years, according to a study published in 2009.


Yet we continue to ignore the fact that Climate Change is real, its happening and if we dont address it we wont be able to reverse it.

I just wanted to say I really really like that bumper sticker in your siggy!

wow. I wouldn't mind being in greenland right now if its cooler than here. 

tericared
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 7:43 PM

 

Quoting survivorinohio:


Quoting SRiveroC:

 

Quote:

Environmentalists say ice melt is being caused by global warming with Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reaching their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years, according to a study published in 2009.


Yet we continue to ignore the fact that Climate Change is real, its happening and if we dont address it we wont be able to reverse it.

I just wanted to say I really really like that bumper sticker in your siggy!

 I still dont see how it can be ignored...and yes the siggy is really cool....

SRiveroC
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 8:29 PM

 LOL. Thanks ;)

Quoting survivorinohio:

 

I just wanted to say I really really like that bumper sticker in your siggy!

 

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