A massive iceberg around 46 square miles in size broke off of Greenland’s Petermann Glacier—the second time since 2010 that the glacier has shed a huge chunk of ice.
The latest break—or “calving” as it is called—was recorded by NASA’s Aqua satellite, which makes multiple orbits over the North Pole each day. The chunk of ice is larger than The Bronx in New York City, which is 42 square miles in size, and twice the size of Manhattan.
Trudy Wohleben of the Canadian Ice Service analyzed the satellite photography and spotted the new iceberg.
“Ice islands from this glacier drift southwards into Baffin Bay and periodically down the Labrador coast, sometimes reaching Newfoundland, where they pose a hazard to shipping and navigation,” wrote the Ice Service.
The ice chunk that broke off the Petermann Glacier in 2010 was around twice the size of this one.
Andreas Muenchow, an associate professor with physical ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware, said that “the Greenland ice sheet as a whole is shrinking, melting and reducing in size as the result of globally changing air and ocean temperatures and associated changes in circulation patterns in both the ocean and atmosphere,” according to a news release.
He noted that the air around northern Greenland, where the Petermann Glacier is located, has been warming by around 0.11 degrees Celsius per year since 1987.
“But the observed warming is not proof that the diminishing ice shelf is caused by this, because air temperatures have little effect on this glacier; ocean temperatures do, and our ocean temperature time series are only five to eight years long—too short to establish a robust warming signal,” he added.
The newest iceberg will follow the same path as the old one until reaching the Nares Strait, located between northern Greenland and Canada, Muenchow pointed out. There, it will most likely be broken up into smaller pieces.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.