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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soundoff (595 Responses)
  1. james ainoris

    Its really goofy how the average person ignores findings modern science and medicine. it seems they will quickly accept things that go with their lifestyle but reject anything that criticizes it.. look how long it took for the avg joe to admitt cigarette smoke is bad...and that finding was labled a "left wing consprcy" Mayor Bloomberg brings out a critical topic on the epidemic of childhood diabetes...people bug out .. but it is the same as anti smoking and transfat oil elimination from fast food seat belts helmuts...removing junk food from schools...check it out.. tabacco companies big market is now south america where 7 to 9yo kids are big consumers there. Do you remmember all the hair spray and freon propellants air conditioning chemicals and halon banned? Again rightwingers said "liberal commie enviromentalists want to control your life" crap again... Now the ozone layer is healed...but you dont believe the science its all a buch of intellectual liberals tryin to get govt grants...james ainoris

    July 18, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. Glenn Doty

    Are there any estimates as to the thickness or volume of this iceberg... or the height above sea-level that the surface of the iceberg floats?

    The volume of the ice is more important than the area.

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

      Look at this way, only 1/3 of an iceberg is exposed above the waterline. Take it from there.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Melting Man

    Why do these people Lie? Saying that there is only 5-8 years of Ocean temps. recorded, hog wash. I've been looking at Ocean temps for more than 14 years, global ocean temps. I'm a weather geek, yes. But this story that there is only 5-8 years of data on ocean temps is a LIE.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • MorbidAndrew

      Melting Man, I read the 5-8 years as the cycle of cooling and heating of the ocean. Not that there was only 5-8 years of data to study. Am I wrong?

      July 18, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • weathermore geek

      I believe its saying that ocean temperature series are 5-8 years long, and they have to wait wait until this current series is over to determine if the the increased temperatures are merely a passing temperature series or part of a larger global warming trend

      July 18, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Papa Lazarou

    How do we know this iceburg even exists? None of you do! Just believe anything any idiot writes no matter what. No critical racers anymore

    July 18, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • manyote

      The "iceburg" does not exist.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. lefty avenger

    More Climate change due to Man's Creation of Global Warming. The Earth wil be destroyed due to the Snake Handling speaking in tongues Republican wackos who refuse to acknowledge or understand science.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. Lil Anne

    Oil in gulf? Factory's dumping pollution in our rivers? Rain forest being cut down? Etc. Etc... Global warming or not? The earth is being destroyed! Respect!

    July 18, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bill

    I suppose this has NEVER happened before... Ahhh Panic Panic – Global Warming!!!

    We need a carbon tax please... the Health Tax is not enough

    July 18, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. s brookes

    it doesn't matter if Global Warming is anthropogenic or not; what matters is that we, as the species who has dominion over this planet, to use its resources wisely and responsibly, to be good stewards of this "Life Raft". We are at a point in human history where we have the know-how and manufacturing capacity to go totally green and abandon fossils fuels; however, with the mindset of many short sighted humans, we are stuck being a very careless and self-centered species.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. manyote

    Yep, at this rate soon we will join Pluto as an ex-planet.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. bj412

    Global warming as a concept is built on faulty science. Just because something can be measured means a cause and effect relationship can be or has been established. The earth has gone through a series of warming and cooling cycles, this could be just the latest warming cycle, and nothing we do will stop/halt it.

    July 18, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • trex you believe NASA.....?.............then GOOGLE ......NASA STUDY OF CO2 CONCENTRATIONS....................and find for yourself that the CO2 is rising RAPIDLY SINCE THE 1950'S.................

      July 18, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Devin

      But we can definitely accelerate it by adding more heat trapping CO2 through industry, and taking away the ability of it to be reabsorbed by cutting down large amounts of forest. Also, as temperatures rise the ocean can't hold as much dissolved CO2, so more will be put into our atmosphere. It's a positive feedback, the full effects will take ~200 years but we can slow the warming process if we are proactive about it now

      July 18, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      First, Climate Change is a hypothesis, not a concept. Second, the science behind it is sound science using the long accepted practice of the Scientific Method. It's not proven yet, but 99% of modern day scientists concur that man is definitely "helping" to either directly cause the warm up or accelerate it. It may be natural, but it is accelerating at an unnatural rate. Unfortunately, when you watch Fox News or CNN you hear one scientist who backs it up and one against it. The truth is that behind the scientist that supports Climate Change are hundreds of thousands of other scientists, like myself, who see that the evidence is very clear. Behind the "Climate Change is a hoax" scientists, only a handful of paid spokesman scientists.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • chiron

      The argument that earth has warming and cooling cycle and it is going through warming cycle although is a valid argument, but we shouldn't forget that, there are 7 billion people on earth now. As George Carlin used to say, save earth is a wrong argument, it is about saving humanity. Earth will continue to exist, question should be can humanity exist when temperature of the earth goes up by an average of 1 C, ocean level rising 1 meter.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • pm

      One more time for the simpler members of the Flat Earth one with a brain is saying that man CAUSED Global Warming, but all evidence points to man CONTRIBUTING TO THE RATE OF WARMING.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bj412

    The sky is falling ...

    July 18, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  12. magneticink

    That's a lot of Snow Cones.

    July 18, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. trex

    ..............maybe the Koch brothers could tow the iceberg to Idaho.................and get the drought under control...............with their money, they could dig a canal from Mississippi up thru the desert................

    July 18, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. MadMax

    The NY Times has addressed climate change for more than 100 years. Since the 1970s, their warnings have bobbled between dire predictions of global cooling, to more recent hysteria about global warming. Here's a link to NY Times article headlines for the past 125 years...Bear these in mind anytime you're tempted to believe that science or journalism come to consistent conclusions about anything. I dont mean to imply that science and journalism are capricious, but they do produce narratives written by humans with perspectives that change and are never completely informed or objective.

    July 18, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. tribecagal

    But FOX News (Sean Hannity et al) say climate change is a myth. Certainly if they say so it must be true! The left wing liberal media is deceiving us. This must be photoshopped in order to promote the left wing liberal agenda.

    July 18, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael Vick©™

      The same people will deny global warming even after all the polar ice melt and the coast throughout the world gets flooded. This is nothing. I recall there was polar ice the size of Rhode Island that broke off few years ago. This month there are already over 3000 city daily temperature record set. West is experiencing the worst drought in decades. But hey, global warming is just a myth.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • g-Regular

      I don't denyer's are saying that global warming does exist as much much as they are saying its not man made. Did man, or dinosaur, or whatever was around millions or years ago create the ice age? The truth is, the Earth is always going through cycles and if we are causing global warming and we all die off, the Earth will continue on without us. We are evolving, the Earth is evolving, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. No matter how many solar panels we install, or cars we convert to hydrogen, the population of the world continues to increase exponentially and those reductions in "pollutants" will never out pace population growth's increase. By forcing people to convert to more expensive cars and forms of energy, you are taking capital out of the hands of people in order to force these changes. In effect, there is less money to be spent on food, shelter, education etc, which in the long run is even worse for society. We are in a lose lose situation. Like it or not. That is the truth of the matter

      July 18, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      No he does not, he says MAN made climate chang is a myth...This is a natural occurance that has been happening for the past 4 billion years.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • LOL in Oregon

      isn't it neat how it looks like it broke off at the same place the one two years ago did?
      Must be were it floats free enough to flex.

      On the other hand, I am sure that the "♪♫ ♪♫ we're guilty sinner"♫ ♫ crowd will use
      their "group think" and "noble cause" syndrome to support their delusions!

      LOL in Oregon

      July 18, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Clearly, you didn't read the article. The scientist was quoted as saying it was too early to blame global warming. (I do enjoy how global warming became climate change when libs couldn't explain our winters becoming colder.)

      Also, Hannity is an idiot. Who cares what he says? (other than you, obviously).

      The article says that the glacier's terminus was at a similar point 150 years ago. So, did man-made global warming in the 1800's cause the glacier to melt? And then it rebounded, but melted again due to another round of man-made global warming? Did the ice ages end due to global warming? Are we to believe that the earth's weather and temperature has remained constant throughout history and only now is there a variation and it is caused by man?

      July 18, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard Wad

      Try looking at the south pole cryosphere charts sometime. The south pole ice is well above its running norm/average. This is the story you don't hear about. We might be losing more of our northern Cryosphere but the south is gaining.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      The issue is not whether the earth is warming or cooling – clearly it seems to be on warming trend. The issue is against those who seek to control something that is not controllable and to do so by dictating rules, regulations and taxes upon everyone in an effort to achieve the unachievable. That's the issue. Like it or not, the earth warms and cools – with our without humans or human intervention. Did you note in the article that this particular glacier is now terminating at the same point where it was 150 years ago? What does that tell you? The earth was warmer – and all before we had industrialization and cars. Must of been all those cows pooping right? Lastly, did you know that Greenland was at one time a lush jungle? Yup. It was really warm then, and that was before humans. Again, maybe it was the dinosaur poop. But you see, the issue as I said are those who think this can be controlled, and to control it they want to faust upon others ridiculous laws and regulations. They want to tax people, take their money, and spend it who-knows-what. That's what Sean, Rush and lots of other – less famous people – are saying.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • THX1953

      Where the Left Wing Loony hyperbole comes into play, is blaming climate change on humanity.

      Any idiot knows that geologically speaking we are still warming from the last ice age.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      @MichaelVick. Does Al Gore believe? He harps on global warming and then buys a house on land he claims will be underwater in a few years.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Rod in Texas

      FOX is the right wing media. Get it right!

      July 18, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      Oh God, Here goes another one saying it was photoshopped to support an agenda. Get real

      July 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
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