Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Antarctica Unable To Say No To Crack

Carl Franzen at TPM:
NASA really rocked the boat around the world in February when it announced the discovery of a 19-mile-long crack off the Western side of Antarctica, a crack poised to calve off an iceberg the size of New York City.

On Monday, NASA released a new video of the latest aerial observations of the crack — located on Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. What NASA discovered was not only has the crack widened and lengthened, but it’s also led to a smaller, secondary crack.

NASA Goddard Flight Center calving specialist Kelly Brunt explained in the video that although the cracks in the glacier are evidence that the ice in region is thinning and the flow accelerating, and in turn, adding to a rise in sea level, it’s still within what can be considered “normal” annual fluctuations in the ice levels.

“Even calving when we use small states of the island or Manhattan as a unit of measure, this is generally normal, it’s part of the process,” Brunt said.
That said, the new calving site is the furthest inland that’s been observed in the past 40 years.


NASA expects the New York City-sized glacier to calve off any day now.
TPM has a photo and a video.

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