Huge Crack In Antarctic Glacier Gives Rise To Iceberg Bigger Than Manhattan!

NASA’s Terra satellite saw a huge crack in the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica and it is all set to give rise to an iceberg the size of Manhattan! The huge gash in the snow is 30 kilometers (or 19 miles) long and nearly 100 meters wide, and is widening every passing minute. This is expected to create an iceberg more than 900 square kilometer in area, as compared to the 785 square kilometer area of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Bronx combined, said NASA. It recently featured as NASA’s Image of the Day.

The breaking of the glacier in Hi-Res. Courtesy: NASA/JPL/Terra

Bad News!

This is bad news, as it once again shows the disastrous effects of global warming. The Pine Island Glacier is a massive glacier and is also a major contributor to sea-level rise – almost one-third of the total contribution of Antarctica.

Ted Scambos, glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, Colorado, explains that it is nothing unusual when glaciers cleave to produce giant icebergs. The problem is that this is happening out of the general pattern of ice-berg formation. He fears that the trend is shifting ‘upstream’ and that signifies acceleration. The reference to ‘upstream’ is given in the context of ice-flows – rapidly flowing streams of ice which flow into the sea.

That is nothing unusual in most cases. [When the] point of rifting starts to climb upstream, generally you see some acceleration of the glacier. [That] signifies that there are changes in the ice

The effect forms a feedback cycle. The ice breaking off from the Pine Island Glacier will leave a lot of room for ice from higher upstream to flow into the sea. The faster flow of this ice will contribute to a quicker rise in sea level.

News courtesy: National Geographic, JPL/NASA

Published by

Debjyoti Bardhan

Is a science geek, currently pursuing some sort of a degree (called a PhD) in Physics at TIFR, Mumbai. An enthusiastic but useless amateur photographer, his most favourite activity is simply lazing around. He is interested in all things interesting and scientific.

  • Lbrewer42

    Can we please grow up and get off of this ridiculous “global warming” sham?
    OK – forget climategate b/c its politically correct to do so. But what about last Niv. when the second round of emails was released and showed wrongdoing and falsifying of data?

    Ok forget that too b/c it is politically correct to do so.

    But let’s not overlook the fact that the naysaayers forgot bout when criticiaing the climategate crew…
    The programmer who made programmed the computers to organize the data left notes to himself (as any computer programmer will) showing the data was altered for the “proper” outcome.

    Let’s get out of the dark ages folks – the polar bear scare was proven false, the hockey stick graph was proven false, it has been proven the people pushing this have been nothing but dishonest and it has brought a lot of political and monetary gain – THIS is the only truth behind the global warming farce.

    And this is supposed to be a scientific “tech” column.

    • Debjyoti Bardhan

      Global warming is not a sham, at least not according to 99% of the world’s climate scientists. The data wasn’t falsified, only exaggerated and maybe the conclusions reached were more alarming than what they really are. That is not ground enough to reject ALL of the data.
      As for the hockey stick graph, it wasn’t proven wrong. Just so that readers don’t get misled, I shall post a link that does justice to all the myths surrounding climate change:

  • Did any this size every break up 500 years ago? Was there ever less ice pack 500 – 1000 years ago? Exactly! LOL

  • Brian

    Remember, not that long ago, the consensus was the Earth was flat.

    Scientific theories only become facts when there’s evidence to support them. Not when 50%, 90%, 100%, etc of the scientific community supports the theory. People seem to be forgetting this.

    What created the lakes? Glaciers’s!!! Another global warming story I suppose?

    • L.Y.

      The scientific community supports the theory of global warming because there is evidence to support the theory of global warming.

      People 1000 years ago believed the earth was flat not because of evidence gathered through the scientific method, but because it fit with their religious beliefs. Please find a better analogy.

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