New York University scientists captured a spectacular video of a massive iceberg breaking apart Greenland. Footage published by the university reveals an approximately 6.4-kilometre-long chunk of ice breaking off the Helheim Glacier. The images were captured by NYU scientists David and Denise Holland on June 22 while they were out a different research expedition.
In an interview for GlobalNews.ca Denise recounted some of the details:‘’We were almost ready to go to bed, we were closing down the camp and getting ready to go to sleep. I heard a noise that lasted longer than normal, sort of a loud booming sound.’’
While the event was not rare by itself, a chance to capture it live does not occur every day. Denise jumped out of bed, grabbed her camera and ran outside. She briefly details the experience: “It’s rare that people are in the right place for such a large event with cameras pointed. We were really fortunate and quite amazed.”
According to NYU scientists, initial measurements estimate that the size of the iceberg is somewhere between the size of “lower Manhattan up to Midtown in New York City.”
Rising Sea Levels
While the video offers an amazing show of untamed nature the consequences may be direr than they seem. David, who also teaches mathematics at NYU, explained that the phenomenon is called calving, and it is a major contributor to rising sea levels.
In fact, if you look closely at the video, you can see that the sea level rises instantly when the iceberg begins to break from the glacier. The event is similar at a much smaller scale, to adding ice cubes to a drink. While at first look it does not seem to be much when the ice melts there is a significant raise in the water level both in the sea and in your glass.
NASA’s National Snow and Ice Data Center notes that ice sheets around the world are in a continuous decline, and sea level will continue to rise due to similar events in the next years.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.