NASA snaps picture of new crack in Greenland ice shelf

NASA snaps picture of new crack in Greenland ice shelf
Credit: NASA
(Phys.org)—A team of researchers working with NASA's Operation IceBridge has snapped a picture of a crack in the middle part of Petermann Glacier—it resides on Greenland's northern coast. The photo and other accompanying images have been released to the media to allow the public to see what is occurring.

Operation IceBridge consists of flying airplanes over parts of Antarctica and Greenland and taking pictures to monitor changes in and formations. A crew canvassing a region near Thule flew over an area identified by Stef Lhermitte, an associate professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He discovered the crack and has been monitoring it using and publishing what he finds on Twitter.

The crack is clearly identifiable in the image supplied by NASA and is of particular concern because of its location. Most cracks in glaciers occur relatively close to the sea as the warmer temperatures and angle of descent cause ice to break off and float away. But this new crack is very close to the center of the glacier, which suggests some other factor is at play. Lhermitte has suggested it is likely the crack formed due to warmer water underneath the glacier, though it is not clear how it might have got there.

If the glacier does crack and a big chunk floats away (the resulting ice island would be approximately 50 to 70 square miles in size), it would not change the level of the ocean as some have claimed—the ice is already floating on the surface—but it would make room for new ice to begin flowing into the sea, which would increase the sea level a small amount.

NASA snaps picture of new crack in Greenland ice shelf
Credit: NASA

Whether the glacier will split is still uncertain, the team at NASA notes, as there is a medial flow line between the new crack and an older one that formed on the flank—it could keep the crack from spreading.

Large chunks of falling into the sea have made news over the past several years as politicians and others use them as an example of global warming and the harm we are causing to the planet.

NASA snaps picture of new crack in Greenland ice shelf
Credit: NASA

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Apr 17, 2017
Large chunks of glaciers falling into the sea have made news over the past several years as politicians and others use them as an example of global warming and the harm we are causing to the planet.


.......and with all that ice that has been sliding off the land into the ocean since the Year of the Holy Hockey Stick in 1998, how much ocean level rise has occurred that has been less than the ten feet the AGWs were predicting? A centimeter? A Millimeter? Remained the same? Maybe it dropped?

Uh, oh........I shouldn't have posed those questions should have I? It just encourages the AGW spinsters to show up here with all sorts of contrived explanations as to why their favorite politician had it totally screwed up in the first place. Hi there Al, you're still missing it.

Apr 17, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Apr 17, 2017
Focus man and look outside. The level has risen or would you like to blame aliens on the islands that are slowly sinking into the ocean....

Apr 17, 2017
Benni: What are you trying to argue here? Are you trying to argue the volume of a sphere? The surface tension of water? What happens when you try to compress a liquid? Help me out here. What exactly is it you imagine is being calculated incorrectly?

Apr 17, 2017
Focus man and look outside. The level has risen or would you like to blame aliens on the islands that are slowly sinking into the ocean....


Still waiting for the 'dramatically rising seas' to cause the Maldives to sink. That was the prediction in the 90's and instead they are busy building new infrastructure for the tourists!

Apr 17, 2017
"Large chunks of glaciers falling into the sea have made news over the past several years as politicians and others use them as an example of global warming and the harm we are causing to the planet"
This should read.
Large chunks of glaciers falling into the sea have made news over the past several years as politicians and others use them as yet another, totally bogus, example of global warming and the harm we are causing to the planet.
As if glaciers haven't always calved into the ocean. It's what glaciers do.

Apr 18, 2017
The usual "smart" comments...
Anyway I just wanted to point that the first picture could be of jovian moon Europa.

Apr 18, 2017
Did you know that the existence of the hole in the ozone layer, discovered by climate scientist and their ilk and backed by decades of solid science and layman observation is actually just a epic worldwide hoax perpetrated by the "ozone-safe" aerosol companies? And do you know who one of the biggest stake holders in those companies is? Al Gore. Boom. I just truthed all over this place. Don't be fooled by the liberal and conservative media of the 1980's who had a respect for basic science. My truth is truthier.

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