Fast melting glaciers, breaking down of icebergs and a fast rise in ocean levels have been all been documented properly in a video clip. All this goes to establish once again that the worries about climate change was neither a hoax nor a forest spooky affair.
It’s serious as one of the world’s oldest glaciers, Greenland’s Helheim Glacier, has been losing mass as evinced by a video showing a four mile wide iceberg slipping into the sea. The video also shows sea level rising as the ice from the glacier enters the ocean.
A team of scientists led by an Abu Dhabi professor has captured the video of a four-mile iceberg breaking away from a glacier in eastern Greenland, an event that points to one of the forces behind global sea-level rise.
The iceberg, broken off from Greenland’s Helheim Glacier, would stretch from lower Manhattan up to Midtown in New York City.
“Global sea-level rise is both undeniable and consequential,” said David Holland, professor at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematics and NYU Abu Dhabi, who led the research team. “By capturing how it unfolds, we can see, first-hand, its breath-taking significance.”
The video shows sea level rising as the ice from the glacier enters the ocean. This phenomenon, also known as calving (the breaking off of large blocks of ice from a glacier), may also be instructive to scientists and policy makers.
“Knowing how and in what ways icebergs calve is important for simulations because they ultimately determine global sea-level rise,” said Denise Holland, the logistics coordinator for NYU’s Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and NYU Abu Dhabi’s Centre for Global Sea Level Change. “The better we understand what’s going on means we can create more accurate simulations to help predict and plan for climate change.”
The calving event captured on video began on June 22 at 11.30pm local time and took place over approximately 30 minutes (the video has condensed the time of this occurrence to approximately 90 seconds).
The video depicts a tabular, or wide and flat, iceberg calve off and move away from the glacier. As it does so, thin and tall icebergs – also known as pinnacle bergs – calve off and flip over. The camera angle then shifts to show movement further down the fjord, where one tabular iceberg crashes into a second, causing the first to split into two and flip over.
“The range of these different iceberg formation styles helps us build better computer models for simulating and modeling iceberg calving,” explained Denise Holland.
A 2017 estimate suggested that a collapse of the entire the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet would result in a 10-foot-rise in sea level – enough to overwhelm coastal areas around the globe, including New York City.>