The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
NASA Flew Over Not One But Two Rectangular Icebergs
The unusual image blew up online and now NASA is back with more photos of weirdly angular icebergs from the same Operation IceBridge trip.
We usually think of icebergs as craggy chunks like the one from Titanic, but IceBridge senior support scientist Jeremy Harbeck caused a stir after he captured photos of the flat, sharp-cornered specimens.
"I thought it was pretty interesting; I often see icebergs with relatively straight edges, but I've not really seen one before with two corners at such right angles like this one had," Harbeck said in a NASA post.
This panorama of the entire tabular iceberg was edited together from two images taken while flying past the berg.NASA/Jeremy Harbeck
These nature-made frozen slabs have an official name: "tabular icebergs." Because of its smooth surface and clean edges, the rectangular berg likely only recently broke off the Larsen C ice shelf, which famously released a Delaware-sized chunk of ice last year, now dubbed A68.
"The iceberg's sharp angles and flat surface indicate that it probably recently calved from the ice shelf," NASA tweeted.
In the new photo (at the top of this article), Harbeck captured a slightly less rectangular iceberg around the same area. Look closely and you can see a corner of the now-classic rectangular iceberg as well as A68 in the distance.
"I was actually more interested in capturing the A68 iceberg that we were about to fly over, but I thought this rectangular iceberg was visually interesting and fairly photogenic, so on a lark, I just took a couple photos," Harbeck added in the NASA post.
These calving events are like a long fingernail that eventually snaps off at the end, University of Maryland Earth scientist Kelly Brunt explained to LiveScience.
Such a break can create nearly perfect geometric edges, similar to when a glass plate shatters and creates straight edges, sea ice specialist Alek Petty told NPR.
Operation IceBridge Mission Scientist John Sonntag explains more about the tabular icebergs. Watch here:
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)
Veganism refers to a way of living that attempts to minimize animal exploitation and cruelty. For this reason, vegans aim to exclude all foods containing meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and honey from their diet (1).
'Finally!': Court Orders EPA to Stop Stalling Potential Ban on Pesticide Tied to Brain Damage in Kids
By Jessica Corbett
In a ruling welcomed by public health advocates, a federal court on Friday ordered the Trump administration to stop stalling a potential ban on a pesticide linked to brain damage in children, giving regulators until mid-July to make a final decision.
At EcoWatch, our team knows that changing personal habits and taking actions that contribute to a better planet is an ongoing journey. Earth Day, happening on April 22, is a great reminder for all of us to learn more about the environmental costs of our behaviors like food waste or fast fashion.
To offer readers some inspiration this Earth Day, our team rounded up their top picks for films to watch. So, sit back and take in one of these documentary films this Earth Day. Maybe it will spark a small change you can make in your own life.
By Shuchi Talati
Solar geoengineering describes a set of approaches that would reflect sunlight to cool the planet. The most prevalent of these approaches entails mimicking volcanic eruptions by releasing aerosols (tiny particles) into the upper atmosphere to reduce global temperatures — a method that comes with immense uncertainty and risk. We don't yet know how it will affect regional weather patterns, and in turn its geopolitical consequences. One way we can attempt to understand potential outcomes is through models.
By Julia Conley
Green groups on Saturday celebrated the latest federal ruling aimed at preventing President Donald Trump from rolling back environmental regulations that were put in place by his predecessor.
By Tim Radford
Scientists have identified yet another hazard linked to the thawing permafrost: laughing gas. A series of flights over the North Slope of Alaska has detected unexpected levels of emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide from the rapidly warming soils.