Massive ice island breaks off Greenland glacier
The 59-square-mile ice island that broke off Greenland's Petermann Glacier can be seen at the northern end of the glacier.
July 18th, 2012
06:44 AM ET

Massive ice island breaks off Greenland glacier

The Petermann Glacier before the ice island broke off this week.

An island of ice twice the size of Manhattan broke off this week from a Greenland glacier, a University of Delaware researcher reports.

The 59-square-mile (150 square kilometers) iceberg is the second massive loss for the Petermann Glacier in two years, researcher Andreas Muenchow reports. In 2010, an ice island four times the size of Manhattan was lost from the glacier.

“While the size is not as spectacular as it was in 2010, the fact that it follows so closely to the 2010 event brings the glacier’s terminus to a location where it has not been for at least 150 years,” Muenchow says in a university press release.

The researcher says its too early to blame global warming for the loss of Greenland ice, however.

“Northwest Greenland and northeast Canada are warming more than five times faster than the rest of the world,” Muenchow says in the press release, “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.”

Muenchow says the massive chunk of ice is expected to eventually enter the Nares Strait between Greenland and Canada, where it will break up into smaller icebergs.

That could take a while. Pieces of the 2010 calving can still be found along the Canadian coast as far south as Labrador, Muenchow said.

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Filed under: Science
soundoff (595 Responses)
  1. the prophet

    a burst of energy from the son trapped in a bauble escaped the son magnetic filed thence orbiting the earth, contributing to the recent high temperature fluctuations throughout the US especially where drought is wide spread. Furthermore contributing to the glaciers to melt like butter in a pan. Eventually it will reach the earth atmosphere igniting it consuming all of our oxygen, seas will rise and boil, the earth will burn an turn into a molten planet.

    July 19, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • nagrom

      Is that God's SON? or Earth's SUN? I am totally confused. I don't think GOD will bauble anything? Of course, the way the Repukes are going these days the end in December 2012 is getting mighty close. A shame they won't be able to enjoy the White House ever again but it is a good thing for personkind.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • ignorant new yorker

      should i stop paying my mortgage?

      July 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Church Of The Poisoned Mind

      Repeating the same bs over and over does not made it any more valid. Time for your meds.

      July 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mark

    The guy is ill. Leave him alone. He really believes it and just wants to warn the rest of nice.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark of us. (sorry.)

      July 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • ignorant new yorker

      he isn't ill because he has a very clear cut agenda.... he is aloof

      July 19, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ignorant new yorker

      he is obviously a religious fanatic

      July 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • ignorant new yorker

      hey davenskavort ..........chill out dude!

      July 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Edumacated Southerner

    Mr.Gay, we don't need to know that you like "THINGS BIG" nor do "WE giva a chit!! So do us a favor and keep it to yourself!

    July 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • ignorant new yorker

      wassup?i love cajun creole food!

      July 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • ignorant new yorker

      no instant grits right?

      July 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. OnlyOne

    And of course, the denial gang replies: What ice melting? What glacier? What scientific evidence? It's nice and cool here, where my head is in the sand.

    July 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Edumacated Southerner

    1 Prophet really needs to talk to Dr. Phil maybe he can help with those grandure illusions he's having! Well atleast we can hope so,right!!

    July 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lord Farquaad

    1 Prophet,
    After your constant posting over and over again, you think you would know how to the spell checker. SON is a person not a star. Biol.....what is that? You mean boil?

    Are you waiting for your prescription refill?

    July 19, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • ignorant new yorker

      why would you find the anger to say such hurtful things to someone who doesn't have your social skills?

      July 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bill Fitzgerald

    Well lets all just be light-mined about all this glacier melting, drought, mudslides in alaska, famines, global something different change, all a big joke right? Proud pathetic comments.

    July 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Scott Ryan


    July 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. spyder

    whats wrong with a warmer earth, was fine for the dinosaurs millions of years ago. o yeah, the earth is only 6 or 7 1000 years old. those fossils where placed there by god to trick us 8) i got my property up north to hide in the mines when the floods come. gonna live on twinkies and jolt cola and play video games to keep from getting bored.

    July 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bigfoot

    When are you idiots going to wake up to the fact that man caused global warming is responsible for this?

    July 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • CaptainRon

      Then we can do the same thing we did to make it stop 150 years ago right?

      July 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Trollbusters

    You have to be trolling us right? , you cant be that dim?

    July 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Uh Hello

    Bigfoot, did you not read the article? Did you forget your grammar skills as well?

    July 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. WoofieTheCat

    I thought the subject was a huge piece of a glacier breaking up? Funny how all of you let the 1 Prophet distract you from the original subject. Besides everyone knows that the Earth will be destroyed by Godzilla, duh!

    July 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Darryl P.

    That will effect our system totally. Global Warming is something we better get a grip on and address. This Glacier ? This movement will totally affect our Jet Stream Flo of Air. These are very important events. People look at it as an exciting thing to see but the impact is much greever and blind to the naked eye. These sort of events cause a great threat to our enviroment as we know it. Everything shifts........Water movement, Air flo, Drout, Floods, Sunamis,Earthquakes ect. This Even should be taken sceriously.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spaz

      So, Darryl P. What are you personally doing about global warming besides talking about it?

      July 23, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • j0eschm0e

      the more fresh water into the salt water current will slow the current, and should therefore make for a cold winter. I am from northeast U.S., and usually when its a hot summer, it can be a cold winter for this area.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian


      you realize that those who study Greenland say every 150 years it runs through this cycle right? they have ice cores to prove it. The earth is cyclical, we are not large enough to have as much of an impact on the earth as you seem to think.....

      August 11, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Paige

    im her daugter most kids love cartoons but i have intersting facts about this islansd

    July 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Layne

      Hello Paige. It's nice to see a future scientist posting here. Please do your best to understand glaciers and Greenland, and share what you learn. Something tells me we're going to need good scientists and more accurate public opinions soon.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
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