A giant ice island has broken off the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland and the cause is not global warming.
A University of Delaware researcher says the floating ice sheet covers 100 square miles – more than four times the size of New York's Manhattan Island.
Andreas Muenchow, who is studying the Nares Strait between Greenland and Canada, said the ice sheet broke off early Thursday. He says the new ice island was discovered by Trudy Wohlleben of the Canadian Ice Service.
"All of this ice will ultimately end up in the North Atlantic" said Muenchow. It could take between 2-4 years because of the distance it has to travel.
Muenchow stated that "the dominant contribution to the melting of this glacier has been melting from below by the oceans. The ocean contains a lot of heat relative to the freezing point of ice."
According to Muenchow, there are several contributing factors to this event, however the global warming contribution is rather small and other processes are far more significant.
Not since 1962 has such a large chunk of ice calved in the Arctic, but researchers have noticed cracks in recent months in the floating tongue of the glacier.