Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Scientists Capture the Moment an Iceberg Breaks off from a Greenland Glacier

Scientists Capture the Moment an Iceberg Breaks off from a Greenland Glacier

But there is much that scientists have yet to learn about how and why this large-scale breakage happens, which makes it hard to predict when glaciers will fall apart, and how much that glacier disintegration will affect sea levels over time, David Holland, leader of the research team and a professor at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematics and NYU Abu Dhabi, told Live Science.

The calving event was filmed on June 22 at 11.30pm local time.

A massive iceberg that was part of a Greenland glacier has collapsed, leading to increased exposure of glacier ice to the ocean. "By capturing how it unfolds, we can see, first-hand, its breath-taking significance".

The team watched the edge of the HELHEIM glacier, one of Greenland's largest glaciers along the Eastern edge of the Greenland ice sheet. The video shows the HELHEIM glacier.

The birth of an iceberg was recorded on video by a team of researchers in Eastern Greenland, according to the New Atlas.

The research team at NYU is examining the forces behind sea-level rise under a grant from the National Science Foundation. "Rising sea levels are a globally important issue which can not be tackled by one country alone", says U.K. Science Minister, Sam Gyimah.

A 2017 estimate suggested that a collapse of the entire the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet would result in a 10-foot-rise in sea level - enough to overwhelm coastal areas around the globe, including New York City. "The better we understand what's going on means we can create more accurate simulations to help predict and plan for climate change".

The video shows a wide and flat iceberg split and moves away from the glacier.

So far, the Thwaites Glacier has accounted for approximately 4% of global sea-level rise, an amount that has doubled since the mid-1990s. The calving event, captured in stunning footage by a team of researchers on site, spurred several other tall icebergs to separate as well, with some even flipping over entirely.

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