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Scientists Capture the Moment an Iceberg Breaks off from a Greenland Glacier

12 July 2018

A team of scientists from New York University caught a stunning sight on video when they witnessed an iceberg breaking away from a glacier.

Sea levels are rising and one of the culprits is the loss of ice from glaciers and ice sheets, victims of a warming planet.

Calving is when an iceberg breaks off from a glacier. "By capturing how it unfolds, we can see, first-hand, its breath-taking significance".

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The birth of an iceberg was recorded on video by a team of researchers in Eastern Greenland, according to the New Atlas.

"Global sea-level rise is both undeniable and consequential", said research team leader David Holland. As it does so, thin and tall icebergs-also known as pinnacle bergs-calve off and flip over.

Scientists argue that this phenomenon not only handsome, but also causes an increase in water level in the sea.

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The 90-second video has captured the attention and concerns of several experts on the climate change matter, especially because the Helheim glacier dips into the ocean on eastern Greenland and it lost a very large chunk of ice that will be responsible for some eventual changes on sea level rise.

"Knowing how and in what ways icebergs calve is important for simulations because they ultimately determine global sea-level rise", adds Denise Holland, the logistics coordinator for NYU's Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, who filmed the calving event.

So far, the Thwaites Glacier has accounted for approximately 4% of global sea-level rise, an amount that has doubled since the mid-1990s.

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The video shows a wide and flat iceberg split and moves away from the glacier. The grant is part of the newly announced $25-million International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, headed by the U.K.'s Natural Environment Research Council and the National Science Foundation, which will deploy scientists to gather the data needed to understand whether the glacier's collapse could begin in the next few decades or next few centuries.

Scientists Capture the Moment an Iceberg Breaks off from a Greenland Glacier