Feeds

Ice island snaps off Greenland: Just a fifth the size of 1962 whopper

And half the size of last big one two years back

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A vast island of ice has broken off a glacier in Greenland: but it is just one-fifth the size of one which snapped off from Canada in 1962 and half the size of one seen in 2010.

The new monster iceberg is assessed as covering 46 square miles by professor Andreas Muenchow of the University of Delaware, which he calculates as roughly twice the size of Manhattan island. It calved from the Petermann glacier in Greenland two days ago, according to an informative release from the university, and this has been confirmed from above by satellite photos. The breakoff follows a similar but bigger event in 2010, which saw a four-Manhattan berg snap off the Petermann and float away.

Muenchow says that the local air temperature in Greenland has climbed by more than two degrees since 1987, but he doesn't think this of itself means that global warming caused the ice to break off.

“The observed warming is not proof that the diminishing ice shelf is caused by this," says the prof, "because air temperatures have little effect on this glacier; ocean temperatures do, and our ocean temperature time series are only five to eight years long — too short to establish a robust warming signal.”

Muenchow hopes to gain more data from undersea sensors placed beneath the glacier shelf in 2009 and due to be recovered by a Canadian coastguard vessel this summer.

The Delaware uni report notes that the two recent berg breakoffs from the Petermann are small beer compared with the last big ice-island calving prior to 2010, which saw a stupendous 230-square-mile (roughly a ten-Manhattan) monster break loose from Ellesmere Island in Canada. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.