Large Iceberg Calving Off Petermann Glacier, Greenland – July 21st, 201280.5N 59.5W
On July 16-17 2012, a 150 km2 (59 square-mile) chunk calved from the northern tip of the Petermann Glacier, a large glacier located in North-West Greenland to the east of Nares Strait. It connects the Greenland ice sheet to the Arctic Ocean.
The animated image shows the glacier before and after the large chunk calved from the end of the glacier, while the detail image contains a sequence of images showing the ice gradually calving off. The images in the sequence, from left to right, are from the 11th, 15th, 17th and 18th (last two images) of July.
Although this is not the first time a large piece of ice has calved off the glacier, nor is it the largest (in 2010 an iceberg with an area of roughly 120 sq km / 46 sq mi, or about half the size of the 2012 piece, broke off), the recent calving event has reignited concerns over climate change. While some express little concern, pointing out that the process of icebergs calving off glaciers has occurred for centuries, others worrying about global warming and say that the real issue is whether or not the frequency of calving events is changing, and why.