The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Iceberg 5x the Size of Manhattan Breaks Off Pine Island Glacier
A 115-square-mile section calved off the ice shelf on Oct. 29. That's roughly the five times the size of Manhattan.
The piece was expected to take weeks or months to break off after the first cracks were observed about a month ago, according to Stef Lhermitte, an assistant professor in the Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
But "I was a bit surprised" it broke off that quickly, he told Live Science. "It turned out to be on the quick side."
This GIF of satellite imagery shows just how rapidly the rift across Pine Island Glacier, also known as PIG, was formed.
The newly formed iceberg eventually broke into smaller pieces. "Iceberg B-46 did not live very long, as it already fragmented in several pieces today, one day after calving from Pine Island Glacier," Lhermitte tweeted Tuesday.
PIG is the fastest shrinking on the planet and is contributing to sea level rise faster than any other glacier, according to the iSTAR science program, which works to understand the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Lhermitte explained that large PIG calving events used to occur about every five years (2001, 2007, 2011), but four events have occurred in recent years ( 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018). The largest calving event was in July 2013, when a section roughly eight times the size of Manhattan of PIG's ice shelf sloughed away.
Scientists are not completely sure why the region's melting has accelerated, but it could be attributed to the region's increasingly warmer waters melting the ice shelf from below.
"That depends on climate, but this warm water getting there is also driven by how the wind patterns change," Lhermitte told LiveScience. "It's very difficult to say that this is climate change because we're still figuring out how it all works."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Extreme weather events supercharged by climate change in 2012 led to nearly 1,000 more deaths, more than 20,000 additional hospitalizations, and cost the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion, a new report finds.
A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.
The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.
By Wudan Yan
In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."
On Monday, Sept. 23, the Climate Group will kick off its 11th annual Climate Week NYC, a chance for governments, non-profits, businesses, communities and individuals to share possible solutions to the climate crisis while world leaders gather in the city for the UN Climate Action Summit.
By Pam Radtke Russell in New Orleans
Local TV weather forecasters have become foot soldiers in the war against climate misinformation. Over the past decade, a growing number of meteorologists and weathercasters have begun addressing the climate crisis either as part of their weather forecasts, or in separate, independent news reports to help their viewers understand what is happening and why it is important.