Experts have made a worrying discovery on one of Greenland’s largest glaciers. The presence of the crack to the center of the glacier has left scientists stumped who are not exactly sure how it is formed. The cracks that appear on the glaciers usually tend to do on their edges. This one appeared in the center.
Scientists have snapped images of a massive, worrisome crack that has appeared on one of Greenland’s largest galciers—The Petermann glacier. This worrying crack was spotted while scientists were going through satellite images.
According to experts, the crack raises concerns that the ice shelf might completely crack, breaking off into the ocean.
In 2010, an ice bar broke off of the Petermann Glacier, and two years later, another massive chunk of ice broke free.
According to reports by the Washington Post, Another crack has been spotted stretching towards the center of Petermann’s ice shelf, according to reports by the Washington Post.
Scientist Stef Lhermitte, from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands spotted a brand new crack appearing in the middle of the ice shelf.
“As far as I understand, the island might not break off until later this summer or even next summer. As this part of the ice shelf is already floating the break-off of the island will not affect sea level rise (i.e.floating ice and water have exactly the same volume). But understanding the glacier response to the longer term is important as it holds back a large amount of ice from the Greenland ice sheet.” – Lhermitte told Mail Online in an interview about this worrisome discovery.
Like many glaciers on our planet, Petermann is also an ice shelf which means that it is already floating on the sea, which, as explained by experts, means it does not contribute to the rise of sea levels during its disintegration.
However, ice shelves play an extremely important role in keeping back landlocked ice sheets and glaciers, meaning that with their destruction chunks of frozen water end up in the ocean.
Scientists noticed that the glacier is crumbling apart and two cracks on the glacier are already moving towards one another—one of them is a lot longer and wider. If these two cracks eventually meet, it would fracture the Petermann Glacier along over half of its total area.
The presence of the crack to the center of the glacier has left scientists wondering of how exactly it is formed.
The crack appeared in the middle of the floating shelf, rather than on one of its sides, as is typical of this glacier. This left Lhermitte to wonder whether it could have been caused by the ocean waters below the shelf.
In addition to what’s going on currently at Greenland, worrying images have been captured all over the planet.
According to scientists the massive crack in the Antarctica ice shelf Larsen C that was discovered will soon give away, becoming one of the largest icebergs on the planet. In fact, it might be an iceberg twice the size of the SMALLEST European country.Since early this year, its crack has moved at least 10 kilometers more. Currently, the crack is already 175 kilometers long.