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Archive for Glaciers and Ice Caps

Start of Iceberg Calving Off Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica – February 6th, 2012

75.1S 100W

February 6th, 2012 Category: Climate Change, Glaciers and Ice Caps

Pine Island Glacier - January 28th, 2012

The Pine Island Glacier, visible at the center of this image, is a large ice stream flowing west-northwest along the south side of the Hudson Mountains into Pine Island Bay, Amundsen Sea, Antarctica. The image focuses on a floating ice shelf at the downstream end of Pine Island Glacier. The crack shows the start of a large iceberg calving.

The area drained by Pine Island Glacier comprises about 10 percent of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Satellite measurements have shown that the Pine Island Glacier Basin has a greater net contribution of ice to the sea than any other ice drainage basin in the world and this has increased due to recent acceleration of the ice stream.

The Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers are two of Antarctica’s five largest ice streams. Scientists have found that the flow of these ice streams has accelerated in recent years, and suggested that if they were to melt, global sea levels would rise by 0.9 to 1.9 m (2 ft 10 in to 6 ft 3 in), destabilising the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet and perhaps sections of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Drangajökull Glacier on Westfjords Peninsula, Iceland

March 11th, 2011 Category: Glaciers and Ice Caps

Iceland - February 18th, 2011

Although much of Iceland is covered by snow and glaciers, some snow-free low-laying areas can be observed near the coast and in large valleys.

The large peninsula on the left side of the image, in northwestern Iceland, is known as the Westfjords. It is connected to the rest of Iceland by a 7 km wide isthmus.

The Westfjords are very mountainous; the coastline is heavily indented by dozens of fjords surrounded by steep hills. Here, the contrast of white snow against blue ocean makes it easy to observe the contours of these fjords.

The Drangajökull glacier is located in the far north of the peninsula and is the fifth largest of the country, but the only glacier of the region.