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. c s

    Until the leaders of the GOP beleive that global warming is real and caused by humans and affects them personally, nothing will change. The GOP focus on the cost of changing our current energy use and cannot see any real benefit to themselves. The GOP will say that no one can prove that this particular event is caused by global warming. Of course by the time it is proven, the world will change greatly. Nature will survive, it is only humans that might find it very hard to survive. So let the global warming experiment continue. I do not hold my breath that anything significant will be done.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Doc Knowitall

      Read some history fool. Mother Nature has been playing this game long before there were humans here. Time for some to wake up and find that you are truly insignificant in the game of life as far as the planant is concerned

      July 18, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Not a Scholar

      Your view of the planet and it's environment are very short sighted. This planet has gone through an ice age and worming before man could ever have had an adverse affect on it. It's just a life cycle. Not a GOP problem. Besides, sometime you are going to have to realize that not every issue on the planet is a political problem. Somethings are just what they are. Actually, most things are just what they are and blaming them on a political party just causes more division and more problems.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      GOP this GOP that. Hey I not GOP and I think it is a bunch a junk too. The scientists that started this global warming have already been discredited. This is not a party thing, I'm a democrat, what you think we are monolithic?? Why don't you speak for yourself and quit being a blamer like Obamer the Emperor.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • pm

      Doc Knowitall, Not a Scholar...the point cs was making is that the GOP has made global warming a part of thier nno-beliefs and if/when they are proven wrong, it will be too late to do anything. If one half of Americans are told by thier leaders that this is nonsense, then nothing will ever happen to try to defuse the bomb. Yes, we all know that the Earth goes through periods of heating and cooling. No one is saying man is causing that. What there is significant evidence of is that humans are CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCELERATION OF GLOBAL WARMING, not actually causing this event soley. The point is that as long as 50% of American are part of the "flat earth" society, by the tie scientists actually have "proof" that man is contributing, it will probably be too late.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Krusty

    I'm doing my part to ease global warming by running my air conditioner at full blast.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Timothy Farlow

      COOL !!!!

      July 18, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. ERH

    Funny thing about those glaciers they just keep moving down hill and getting smaller. You need to really start worrying when a glacier anywhere, starts getting bigger.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. james ainoris

    The lack of scientific knowledge or even understanding of the american public is shocking....now so many play with iphones and widgets but dont have any clue of electrical theory or computer programing...I think it is done on purpose like how rome controlled the plebean populas "bread and circus" distract them divide them and you have control... A automobile engine today is no more efficiant today than it was 70yrs ago(only 27% of gas is converted into mechanical movement the rest is wasted as heat).... yet you NEVER here anything on AM Lush dimbaugh radio speaking about all the electric car technology or ultra clean diesil cars in ANY positive manner.... they (oil coal cheerleaders) always ridicule the volt car equating as one of Obamas follies... The Toyata prius (plug in kit) and honda insight have proven themselves..electric motors are over 90% efficiant and power from electric grid is far cleaner than oil production and usage in motorcars. Check out the zero emission coal plant "zero gen" . james ainoris

    July 18, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Not a Scholar

      BLAH BLAH BLAH Not every community has they new and expensive power plants that draw from the environment in their construction and operation. Some communities are still using dirty coal, oil and gas power plants. Actually, many are. So don't be so delusional about the cleanliness of these electric cars. They still draw power from somewhere and are constructed from materials that will fill the landfills.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      We don't believe you anymore, you people tell lies. It is not political, I'm a democrat and I do not believe you. Try charging up your car deep in the Rocky Mountains. Tree-huggers hug first then lie later. Take your electrical widgits and place them in a nice round shady place.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. SaltyBob

    Drill baby Drill us into oblivion.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Darth Cheney

      Deep in their hearts, they know they want an apocalypse.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Name*jcred

    The real issue we have not addressed. All my child and adult life we were raised to protect this planet in as many ways as we can... True fact. Only 15% of our children's population is either taught how to be environmently friendly, or alert on what our planet is doing around us. It takes adults to encourage this to the young ones. So this will maintain to happen if things are just pushed to the side and no longer talked about. Actions speak not words. So we are all to blame.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Doc Knowitall

      So right you are, we should be shamed for not teaching people like you that they can not control the sun or the earths orbit.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      Blame yourself, I don't have any children to brain wash with this garbage. Can't take back emails that showed data was falsified.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. al_gore_bad_science_brigade

    too early to blame on global warming means that hte earth's cycles run in the 10s of thousands of years and the events of any year or series of years within that band are well within the normal distribution of what would be expected, absent actual recorded data from any statistically significant time sample. remember the green cry of the 70s on global cooling – may give some perspective to those who think this is more science rather than political gaming

    July 18, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      There was no green cry on global cooling in the 70's. Where on earth did you hear or read that? Fox or something?

      July 18, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      I was around in the 70s Rob and there was a lot of junk about a new ice age, blah, blah. Just like now, more blah blah.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. al_gore_bad_science_brigade

    recycle, dont litter. turn off your lights and ac when not home. do first steps first. ones that cost little or save money.

    real innovation comes through entrepreneurship – the rest of the money spent is a goose chase now. things will be invented when the correct risk/reward opportunities are there....and no sooner. the rest of this stuff is all about political pandering and croney capitalism. look at ethanol for a good example. never commercially profitable. never lived up to promises of low cost production. drove price of corn up which in turn hurts consumers of corn, cattle, pigs, etc. ton of tax dollars spent. cost of cars up to reconfigure engine combustion to accomidate. lots of people made money off of this. no energy solution though. even al gore admits this. shall we do the same with alge?

    July 18, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. your all children

    Nothing can be done to stop earths natural cycle. Go get a donut and get back to work.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. BigHwasdemo

    It's the "white canoe" they were talking about on that movie about Easter Island.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dick Hertz

    Looks like several of them to me?

    July 18, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Tom

    Willard Romney is proving over and over that he is nothing but a corporate stooge.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      Pardon me but what does Romney have to do with the climate change fantasy?

      July 18, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. fsm

    Global warming is caused by extinction of pirates!!! You can google to see proof of that!!

    July 18, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. tim

    The dumbing down gop Wannabes are so easily bought and sold down river.....Ya' can't every fix stupid.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      You can't fix poor syntax and bad spelling and grammar either.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. your all children

    oops. better correct my typo. you're

    July 18, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
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