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Wed July 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Iceberg Twice The Size Of Manhattan Breaks Off Glacier In Greenland

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 10:30 am

A huge iceberg that's about twice the size of Manhattan has broken off the Petermann Glacier in Greenland — the same sheet of ice that just two years ago "calved" another massive berg.

"It's dramatic. It's disturbing," University of Delaware professor Andreas Muenchow, tells The Associated Press. "We have data for 150 years and we see changes that we have not seen before. ... It's one of the manifestations that Greenland is changing very fast."

Satellite images taken by NASA on Monday and Tuesday confirm the news. We've taken three to show the break. Look to the area inside the small squares we've drawn on the images.

The AP adds that:

"Many of Greenland's southern glaciers have been melting at an unusually rapid pace. The Petermann break brings large ice loss much farther north than in the past, said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo.

"If it continues, and more of the Petermann is lost, the melting would push up sea levels, he said. The ice lost so far was already floating, so the breaks don't add to global sea levels."

The iceberg that broke off in 2010 "headed north, then west and last year started landing in Newfoundland," AP says.

The Artic Sea Ice Blog has posted video taken in June 2011 of some of that iceberg's chunks.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.