News ID: 218234
Published: 0300 GMT July 13, 2018

Icebergs break off from Greenland glaciers, a direct outcome of global warming

Icebergs break off from Greenland glaciers, a direct outcome of global warming
In the July 12, 2018 photo, a view of an iceberg, near the village Innarsuit, on the northwestern Greenlandic coast.

An iceberg the size of a hill has drifted close to a tiny village on the western coast of Greenland, causing fear that it could swamp the settlement with a tsunami if it calves.

The iceberg towers over houses on a promontory in the village of Innaarsuit but it is grounded and has not moved overnight, local media KNR reported.

A danger zone close to the coast has been evacuated and people have been moved further up a steep slope where the settlement lies, a Greenland police spokesman told Reuters.

Another large iceberg with width of six kilometers (four miles) has broken off from a glacier in eastern Greenland and scientists have captured the dramatic event on video.

New York University Professor David Holland, an expert in atmospheric and ocean science, told The Associated Press, “This is the largest event we’ve seen in over a decade in Greenland.”

A June 22 video of the incident was taken by his wife, Denise Holland of NYU's Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. They had camped by the Helheim Glacier for weeks to collect data to better project sea level changes due to global warming, AP reported.

This phenomenon, called calving, is a direct outcome of global warming, which some world leaders are in denial of.

The event began on June 22 and took place over approximately 30 minutes. According to a press release by the New York University (NYU), the resulting iceberg, which broke off from Greenland’s Helheim Glacier, would stretch from lower Manhattan up to midtown New York City – about six kilometers.

Holland, the logistics coordinator for NYU’s Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and NYU Abu Dhabi’s Center for Global Sea Level Change said, “The better we understand what’s going on means we can create more accurate simulations to help predict and plan for climate change.”

He said Wednesday that the time-lapse video, which is speeded up 20 times, shows “three percent of the annual ice loss of Greenland occurs in 30 minutes.”

“It sounded like rockets going off,” he said, describing it as “a very complex, chaotic, noisy event.”

While the couple is studying Greenland, he said that “The real concern is in Antarctica, where everything is so big the stakes are much higher.”

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