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

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
LOHAN Kickstarter breaks NINETEEN THOUSAND of your EARTH POUNDS
That's right, OVER 9,000 beer tokens - and counting
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.