An iceberg the size of New York is splintering off of West Antarctica's fastest melting glacier, the Pine Island Glacier. As seen in the video linked below, the splintering stretches a massive 260 feet wide and 19 miles long in the truly beautiful, pristine Antarctic icelands. The expected size of the iceberg when it splits is 350 square miles--larger than all of NYC.
Scientists cannot predict exactly when it will break off, but “in the coming months for sure” is what oceanographer Eric Rignot of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory says. Glaciologist Ted Scambos speaks of how glaciers go through a normal life cycle where a floating section grows, tensions mount, and then an iceberg breaks off. But Scambos says that in this case, the crack has formed a lot further upstream, which indicates that there are changes in the ice which would case glaciers to accelerate faster and thus contributing more to rising sea levels. Other scientists say that this forming iceberg is normal, and that a cyclical process and not climate change is responsible, pointing to facts that large icebergs have also broken off in 2001 and 2007.
Experts seem to agree that changes in the Pine Island Glacier and other West Antarctic glaciers are more significant to sea level changes than other areas because they have faster-flowing streams that can bring in more ice from the mountains. Pine Island and other West Antarctic glaciers have been responsible for 7 percent of global sea level rise.
Watch this video and immerse yourself in the solitude of the Antarctic, following the vast and beautiful, formidable stretch of the Pine Island Glacier:
Pine Island Glacier by NASA Goddard Photo and VideoTweet