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Posts tagged Greenland

Large Iceberg Calving Off Petermann Glacier, Greenland – July 21st, 2012

80.5N 59.5W

July 21st, 2012 Category: Climate Change, Glaciers and Ice Caps, Image of the day

Calving from July 11th-18th, 2012

Petermann Glacier, Greenland

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.


Swirled Patterns of Sea Ice Off the Southeastern Shores of Greenland

62.6N 42.6W

April 6th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Greenland - March 5th, 2010

Greenland - March 5th, 2010

Sea ice creates a white paisley pattern parallel to the southeastern shores of Greenland. The swirled designs are created by the melting and freezing of ice in the shape of the offshore ocean currents.

The image stretches along the southeast coast down to Cape Farewell, the southernmost extent of Greenland. The cape is a headland on the southern shore of Egger Island, projecting out into the North Atlantic Ocean and the Labrador Sea.

Disko Island Between Greenland Mainland and Baffin Bay Ice

69.8N 53.4W

March 15th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Greenland - February 23rd, 2010

Greenland - February 23rd, 2010

Disko Island or Qeqertarsuaq (meaning “the large island”), is a big island in Baffin Bay, off the west coast of Greenland at a latitude of 70° North, and to the north of Disko Bay.

It is visible here in the upper left quadrant between mainland Greenland (right) and the frozen surface of Baffin Bay (left). The swirled pattern is caused by ice that melts and freezes, taking on the shape of the water currents.

It has an area of 8,578 square kilometers (3,312 square miles), making it the second largest island of Greenland (after the main island of Greenland) and one of the 100 largest islands in the world.

The island has a length of about 160 kilometers (99 miles), an area of 8,578 square kilometers (5,330 square miles), and rises to an average height of 975 meters (3198 feet), peaking at 1,919 meters (6294 feet). The port of Qeqertarsuaq (named after the island, and also known as Godhavn) lies on its southern coast.

Peary Land: the Mountainous Polar Desert of Northern Greenland

82.6N 31.9W

November 19th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Greenland - November 10th, 2009

Greenland - November 10th, 2009

Peary Land is a peninsula in northern Greenland, extending into the Arctic Ocean. It is only a bit more than 700 km south of the North Pole. It is bounded by Lincoln Sea (west of Cape Morris Jesup) and Wandel Sea of the Arctic Ocean in the north.

Inland, it reaches from Victoria Fjord in the west to Independence Fjord in the south and southeast, and to the Arctic Ocean in the north, with Cape Morris Jesup, the northernmost point of Greenland’s mainland, and Cape Bridgman in the northeast.

Peary Land is not part of any municipality, but is part of the Northeast Greenland National Park. The size of the region is about 375 km east-west and 200 km north-south, with an estimated area of 57 000 km²

The area is mountainous with elevations to 1 950 m in the heavily glaciated Roosevelt Range and to comparable heights in the little-explored H.H. Benedict Range. The area is free of Greenland’s inland ice cap.

Being mostly north of the 82°N parallel, it contains the most northerly ice-free region of the world, mostly in Southern Peary Land. Precipitation levels are so low (only about 25 to 200 mm per year, all as snow) that it is called a polar desert.

Ice Moving Towards the Coast of Greenland

68.0N 31.6W

October 28th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Greenland - September 30th, 2009

Greenland - September 30th, 2009

The total area of Greenland is 2,166,086 km² (836,109 sq mi), of which the Greenland Ice Sheet covers 1,755,637 km² (677,676 sq mi) (81%). The weight of this massive ice sheet has depressed the central land area to form a basin lying more than 300 m (1,000 ft) below sea level.

The ice flows generally from the center of the island to the coast, as can be seen in the image. Most of the left side of the image is covered by ice, which appears light grey. As one moves closer to the coast (right), mountain peaks become visible above the ice, and the ice can be seen flowing between the peaks, downwards towards the ocean.