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Huge iceberg breaks away from the Pine Island glacier in the Antarctic

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posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 10:34 AM

A huge area of the ice shelf measuring 720 square kilometers broke away on July 8, 2013, from the Pine Island glacier, the longest and fastest flowing glacier in the Antarctic. It is now floating in the Amundsen Sea in the form of a very large iceberg.

Scientists of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research have been following this natural spectacle via the earth observation satellites TerraSAR-X from the German Space Agency (DLR) and have documented it in many individual images. The data is intended to help solve the physical puzzle of this “calving“. Scientists from NASA discovered the first crack in the glacier tongue on October 14, 2011 when flying over the area. At that time it was some 24 kilometres long and 50 metres wide.

”As a result of these cracks, one giant iceberg broke away from the glacier tongue. It measures 720 square kilometres and is therefore almost as large as the city of Hamburg“, reports Prof. Angelika Humbert, ice researcher at the Alfred Wegener Institute.

The glaciologist and her team used the high resolution radar images of the DLR earth observation satellite TerraSAR-X to observe the progress of the two cracks and to better understand the physical processes behind the glacier movements.

The researchers were thus able to measure the widths of the gaps and calculate the flow speed of the ice. ”Above the large crack, the glacier last flowed at a speed of twelve metres per day“, reports Humbert’s colleague Dr. Dana Floricioiu from DLR. And Nina Wilkens, PhD graduate in Prof. Humbert’s team, adds: “Using the images we have been able to follow how the larger crack on the Pine Island glacier extended initially to a length of 28 kilometres.

Shortly before the “birth” of the iceberg, the gap then widened bit by bit so that it measured around 540 metres at its widest point.“ The scientists incorporate these and other TerraSAR-X satellite data in computer simulations using which they are able to model the break and flow mechanisms of the ice masses. “Glaciers are constantly in motion.

They have their very own flow dynamics. Their ice is exposed to permanent tensions and the calving of icebergs is still largely unresearched “, explains ice modeller Angelika Humbert.

This is pretty interesting, I didn't realise some glaciers were so big

I certainly never though they might break apart. Hopefully this is just down to a natural process/cycle and it won't do any damage to anything/one.


posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 10:50 AM

Originally posted by sarahlm

Hopefully this is just down to a natural process/cycle and it won't do any damage to anything/one.

Yeah hopefully not.I think it's the cycle as you said. The planet has to change just like us in order to survive.

Makes sense to me.

But Al gore will have you thinking otherwise

edit on 11-7-2013 by coolcatt because: (no reason given)

edit on 11-7-2013 by coolcatt because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 10:58 AM
Wow, as big as Hamburg!

I immediately wondered in fright if a 'surrealistic' tsunami was coming to eat me!

I live on a mountain, close to the water.

Somebody should let Carnival cruises have a heads-up...

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 10:59 AM
reply to post by loveguy

I was gonna say... There's no Titanic type ships in there area... I hope~

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 11:03 AM
The song with the lyrics 'Ice Ice Baby' came to mind when I read that

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 11:04 AM
If you have friends and family on coastlines or under sea level, best to start trying your damnest to get em to move to higher ground. To think these are just a few in a natural cycle isn't the way to go, it's part of a new cycle, when too many things melt, more earth is exposed and more heat is caused due to not as much sunlight being reflected back into space.

I wish I was doom porning or fearmongering, but we have maybe a decade or two before our oceans change their size.

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 11:06 AM
That sounds like something I would love to see in person. There were no pictures of that icecube on the link though

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 11:43 AM
when i read your post i remember the movie '' the day after tomorrow''..hope not as you say..
hot read..

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 12:23 PM
reply to post by Tranceopticalinclined

You do realize they said that 10 years and 15 years ago about NOW as well, right? I look at the tide levels and dont' see a change which is measurable outside fine scientific equipment ...and I wish I could find ONE measurement that held data clear and clean going back enough years to even show that much clearly.

I'd say we shouldn't go ringing any panic bells just yet. After all...This sucker is BIG ..but it IS natural and they do get much bigger than this.

Huge Iceberg Breaks Off Antarctica

That one in 2010 was 1,392 square miles and comparable to Rhode Island if anyone recalls the news on it. The thing is..... pack ice and sea ice like this doesn't produce a rise in ocean levels. Does melting your ice in a glass of water cause it to overflow? SOME of the ice is above water line while 95% is below and displacing all the water it ever will.

It's when or if we ever see air temperatures in the Antarctic rise above hard freeze (extreme hard freeze) levels we need to start getting downright scared. If the ice MELTED from the land side? Well.. My figures were VERY rough but in trying to see if it was even possible to have water lines 100 meters up the Giza Pyramids some claim physical evidence shows? I found it was alright ...and on land, down there, is where the mass sits required to bring water levels up that high, IMO.
edit on 11-7-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)

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