Almost Three Miles Of Glacier Break Off in One Night
The globe just keeps on warming, and on the night of July 6, the effects of that made themselves known in drastic fashion. In just a single night, a 2.7-square-mile block of ice completely broke off from Greenland’s Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier. For a look at the before and after images, see above, and you can click to enlarge for a better comparison.
Now, while this seems like a huge occurence, it isn’t all that uncommon these days. What’s unique about this particular ice-loss is that it happened at a time when climate conditions didn’t foreshadow it at all. As Thomas Wagner, cryospheric program scientist at NASA Headquarters, stated:
“While there have been ice breakouts of this magnitude from Jakonbshavn and other glaciers in the past, this event is unusual because it occurs on the heels of a warm winter that saw no sea ice form in the surrounding bay…While the exact relationship between these events is being determined, it lends credence to the theory that warming of the oceans is responsible for the ice loss observed throughout Greenland and Antarctica.”
The glaciers of Greenland are just melting like crazy. Jakobshavn has lost six miles of glacier in only ten years. As a whole, Greenland is chiefly responsible for rising sea levels, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, and Jakobshavn alone accounts for ten percent of Greenland’s overall glacial loss. Basically, if this keeps up, those of us on the top half of the world could soon be blogging from underwater. And trust me, that won’t be as awesome as it sounds.