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article imageA huge chunk of Greenland's ice cap has broken off

By Karen Graham     Sep 14, 2020 in Environment
A big chunk of Greenland's ice cap, estimated to be some 42.3 square miles (110 square kilometers), has broken off in the far north east Arctic which scientists say is evidence of rapid climate change.
The clacier section that broke off came off of the fjord called Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden, which is roughly 80 kilometers (50 miles) long and 20 kilometers (12 miles) wide, the National Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland said Monday, reports Stars and Stripes.
Any end-of-season changes in the Arctic's largest ice shelf in Northeast Greenland are measured using optical satellite imagery, in this case, a survey known as GEUS. GEUs stands for the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.
According to GEUS, data shows that the "ice losses from the the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier for the past two years (year 2018/2019 and year 2019/2020) both exceeded 50 km2. In the survey period since 1999, the ice shelf has lost 160 km2, an area nearly twice that of Manhattan Island, New York."
"We should be very concerned about what appears to be progressive disintegration at the Arctic's largest remaining ice shelf," said GEUS professor Jason Box, reports CBC Canada.
The red area in the optical satellite image shows the ice lost the past two years from the part of t...
The red area in the optical satellite image shows the ice lost the past two years from the part of the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier called Spalte Glacier that calves into Djimphna Sund. An area of 113 km2 has been lost. Source: EU Copernicus Sentinel and GEUS.
GEUS
"Another massive chunk of vital sea ice has fallen into the ocean," said Greenpeace spokeswoman Laura Meller who is aboard the organization's ship Arctic Sunrise at the edge of the sea ice. "This is yet another alarm bell being rung by the climate crisis in a rapidly heating Arctic."
The northeast Greenland ice stream extends for 600 kilometers (373 miles) into the interior of the ice sheet draining mainly through the two outlet glaciers Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier and Zachariae Glacier. Zachariae Glacier lost its ice shelf, 2002-2015 followed by a large increase in ice loss by calving. Now, for the past two years, Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier's ice shelf is disintegrating in the same manner.
Northwest Greenland is featured in this icy image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission  dat...
Northwest Greenland is featured in this icy image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission, dated August 5, 2020.
Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission.
Dr Jenny Turton, researcher at FAU, Germany, who is investigating the impact of a changing climate on the glacier says: “The last few years have been incredibly warm in northeast Greenland. We had very early melt onset in 2019 linked to the heatwave across Europe and Greenland.”
Readings from local PROMICE.dk weather stations show consistently above average air temperatures driving extended melt conditions the past two years.
More about Ice cap, Greenland, Greenland, Climate change, Climate change
 
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