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Giant ice island breaks off Greenland

The Giant Noodle

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An ice island four times the size of Manhattan broke off from one of Greenland's two main glaciers, scientists said Friday, in the biggest such event in the Arctic in nearly 50 years.
The new ice island, which broke off on Thursday, will enter a remote place called the Nares Strait, about 620 miles south of the North Pole between Greenland and Canada.
The ice island has an area of 100 square miles and a thickness up to half the height of the Empire State Building, said Andreas Muenchow, professor of ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware.
Muenchow said he had expected an ice chunk to break off from the Petermann Glacier, one of the two largest remaining ones in Greenland, because it had been growing in size for seven or eight years. But he did not expect it to be so large.
"The freshwater stored in this ice island could keep the Delaware or Hudson Rivers flowing for more than two years," said Muenchow, whose research in the area is supported by the National Science Foundation.
"It could also keep all U.S. public tap water flowing for 120 days."
Global warming?
He said it was hard to judge whether the event occurred due to global warming because records on the sea water around the glacier have only been kept since 2003. The flow of sea water below the glaciers is one of the main causes of ice calvings off Greenland.

CONTINUED W/ PHOTO: Giant ice island breaks off Greenland - Technology & science - Science - msnbc.com
 

Deuce

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That is a crapload of ice.

We can expect to see more and more of this. The ocean is absorbing the vast majority of the extra energy that we're trapping, and glaciers are melting faster than ever. We're still talking centuries to melt greenland's ice sheets completely, but this certainly is another message from the earth: "This is going to get worse before it gets better!"
 

Coronado

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This can mean only one thing:

IT'S FROZEN MARGARITA TIME!!!

:party
 

digsbe

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Didn't it say the glacier was growing? And that it split away because it got to massive? Excuse my ignorance on climatology and meteorology, but how can a growing mass of ice that splits away because it got to large be possibly attributed to global warming?
 

Deuce

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Didn't it say the glacier was growing? And that it split away because it got to massive? Excuse my ignorance on climatology and meteorology, but how can a growing mass of ice that splits away because it got to large be possibly attributed to global warming?
While I don't know about this particular ice, usually it's a problem with the distinction between ice area and ice volume. Skeptics love to point out how various areas of sea ice have expanded recently, but they conveniently ignore that the volume of those ice fields has decreased dramatically.

Of course, a particular bit of ice is always subject to local effects.
 
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