A mass of a glacier in Greenland, half the size of Manhattan, four miles wide, a mile across, and half a mile thick—broke off of Greenland's Helheim Glacier, and tumbled into the sea a few weeks ago.
Antarctic Ice Loss Triples, Rise in Sea Levels Predicted
The phenomenon was first observed by two glacier researchers, the husband-wife duo, David and Denise Holland on June 22. Denise, who works as the field manager for New York University, NYU's Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, captured the break-up via time-lapse photography on June 22.
"I was impressed that they captured the event so well and that it had a lot of features it and complexity to it," said Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist with the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, according to CBC-Canada News. "These things are important because, step-by-step, that's how we lose an ice sheet and raise sea level. So understanding these processes in detail is key in getting these models improved."
"It's a very loud booming sound that echoes across the fjord from one side to the other as different pieces of ice start to break off. It's just this incredible loud sound," said Denise Holland, logistics coordinator for NYU's Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and NYU Abu Dhabi's Center for Global Sea Level Change, according to CBC, Canada.
"It's like a billion ice cubes at once," said David Holland who works as an oceanographer at the NYU. "It's that kind of cracking sound."
"When you're looking at sea-level rise, the place that matters is West Antarctica," he said, according to the National Geographic. But it's hard to get down to Antarctica—so the team set up camp in Greenland.
"The way to learn about what will happen in West Antarctica is to look at what's happening with the glaciers in Greenland—where things are smaller and happening more rapidly. It's really a window into how sea-level change will happen in the future."
Scientists have expressed concern over the dramatic rise in sea levels caused by the large-scale ice loss which has largely been attributed to the rising temperatures.