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. Paul

    That's one heck of an ice cube. Walmart yes please and two olives.

    July 18, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jon Snow

    Summer is coming.

    July 18, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. Canadian Observer

    Breaking news !!! FOX news is reporting that Obama is responsible for your local supermarket running out of toiletpaper ! Yet another reason to vote for Romney. He will outsource the manufacturing of toiletpaper to China and make sure you never run out again !!

    July 18, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Is it cold living in our shadow? Or is global warming taking care of it?

      July 18, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. Isaac

    As a moderate Democrat I think there are a lot of us who deny the man made conclusion ofwe are responsible for global warming BUT I also agree with earlier posters that we have no idea of the earths cycles, whether warming, cooling, volcanic or effect of sunspots....just no good science to address that. Is the earth wraming – it certainly seems like a cycle is pointing that way...but I am not so bold to blame puny human endeavors.

    July 18, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Doesn't Matter

      I don't see why there is the debate over whether it is man made, either way the Earth is warming and we will have to deal with it, we can't just pretend it isn't happening and magically it won't effect us. We live on this planet and have to for the foreseeable future. It doesn't matter the cause what matters is that it is happening and will effect us in many of our lifetimes.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. Paul

    That's one heck of an ice cube. Large glass please and two olives.

    July 18, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. Island time

    How did this Petermann get his own glacier anyway??? I want one!

    July 18, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • nitrous

      You get your own here:!fs0a1p1YYaScH0ZzERJgAg!/

      July 18, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. i_know_everything


    July 18, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. haha

    Oh my lord. Are you illiterate Ryan in Texas?

    July 18, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Texas

      Read the article. It clearly says that with the two broken off pieces, we are just now getting back to where it was breaking off 150 years a go. SO THERE WAS LESS ICE THERE 150 YEARS AGO!

      July 18, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. A Better Person

    The global warming trend may not be completely man-made, but to argue that man-made pollution hasn't sped up the process is reckless, ignorant, and lacking in scientific evidence.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • rosie

      During the Industrial Revolution when coal smoke was pouring into the skies we did not see much or any real change to the global climate. Now you want to make it that humans are accelerating the process of warming, which is occurring, and therefore we must do what??

      July 18, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      And vis versa. No proof it exists either. All the scientists have been discredited and their studies have been shown to be a grant generating scheme.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    I think most scientists agree that human consumption of natural resources and carbon emissions ARE causing the climate to change, sure climate change happens naturally -SCIENTISTs told us so! But the RATE at which it is happening is INCREASING due to the AMOUNT of carbon we are emitting. You right wingers love to cherry pick your facts from scientists without even mentioning their research on 'global warming' why because you heard a talk back shock jock say so? Man you think we are dumb on the left...

    July 18, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      No plitics here, we just don't believe DISCREDITED SCIENTISTS who were cooking the books and in a giant grant generating scheme, while the DEMOCRATS were trying to increase CONTROL over peoples lives by MANDATING this or that for no reason.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. TimRObhiLL

    Why does anyone care? This is a stupid thing to be worried about.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  12. Doug

    slow news day.

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

    Regardless of your stand on global warming, the CO2 rise is man made and cannot be good.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      Another study by another discredited scientist making a living on grants?

      July 18, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. Anders Perillo

    Gobal warming! Global warming! ack! Carbon tax! Carbon tax! Someone call Al Gore! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 18, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. BigHwasdemo

    Reason & Logic is fine when you have truth and credibility.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • grammar police

      Reason & Logic ARE fine...

      July 18, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      Reason & Logic was a proper screen name so in fact it is singular.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • ignorant new yorker

      grammar police is,was and are an idiot!

      July 18, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
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