Massive chunk breaks off Greenland’s Helheim Glacier

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Scientists in eastern Greenland captured an incredible scene on video: the moment an iceberg measuring 4 miles (6 kilometers) long, separated from the Helheim Glacier and drifted away.

Sea levels are rising and one of the culprits is the loss of ice from glaciers and ice sheets, victims of a warming planet.


The breaking off took place over the course of 30 minutes and began the night of June 22; the video has condensed the time of the incident to about 90 seconds. - "Catching as it unfolds, we can see its value".

It's hard to get a sense of scale from the video, but the researchers pointed out in a statement that this iceberg would cover most of Lower and Midtown Manhattan.


Lead researcher David Holland said: "Global sea-level rise is both undeniable and consequential".

Greenland's glaciers are more accessible, so Holland and his colleagues have spent a decade collecting data and observing glacier behavior in Greenland - and this time they just happened to be perfectly positioned to witness an iceberg splitting away, research team member Denise Holland, the logistics coordinator for NYU's Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and NYU Abu Dhabi's Center for Global Sea Level Change, told Live Science. But even though the icebergs tossed into the sea here are contributing to sea level rise, scientists still don't know exactly how such break-ups work.


How can this video help investigations into sea level rise?

It contains enough water to cause a rise in sea level by 20 feet. The camera angle then shifts to show movement further down the fjord, where one tabular iceberg crashes into a second, causing the first to split into two and flip over. Such events could help researchers understand how glaciers will respond to natural variability and human-induced changes. "The better we understand what is happening, the more precisely we can predict and plan for climate change", explains an employee at NY University, Denise Holland.

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