In Greenland glaciers are rapidly breaking down

Scientists recorded the formation of a six-kilometer iceberg on the video, a breakaway from the Greenland ice sheet Helheim. Such surveys allow us to correct the theoretical models of glacier destruction.

Researchers recorded the separation of an iceberg about six kilometers from the Helheim glacier in southeastern Greenland. Videography will help to learn more about the process of destruction of glaciers and how it affects the changes in the level of the World Ocean.

The iceberg began to break away from the glacier on June 22, 2018, at 23:30 local time. Researchers said that the beginning of the separation of the ice massif was accompanied by a loud “roaring” noise – it lasted about five minutes. The entire process of forming the iceberg took about half an hour, on video recording it was speeded up, putting it in 90 seconds. The survey recorded a variety of forms of emerging icebergs: large ice plates and small, elongated, pinnacled icebergs broke off from the glacier.

The video shows how the fragments of the ice mass collide with each other, and then many small fragments turn over and gradually go under the water. Because of this, the water level rises – the separation of large icebergs makes a big contribution to the growth of the level of the World Ocean as a whole. According to scientists, such video recordings help to correct existing theoretical models predicting changes in the global water level. In general, they use satellite imagery data of relatively low resolution, so it is difficult to judge from them how ice breaks down.

The largest glaciers of the Earth are in the Antarctic, and the water level there is growing faster than in other regions of the planet – scientists attribute this to the melting of the Antarctic glaciers. However, harsh conditions make it difficult to directly investigate the destruction of the continental ice cover. Getting to Greenland is much easier, so this island is an ideal “laboratory”, allowing you to monitor the formation of icebergs.

Exact forecasts of the growth of the level of the World Ocean are needed not only for researchers: they are of fundamental importance for the inhabitants of coastal cities. Earlier studies show that the melting of large ice sheets will cause the outflow of water from the circumpolar regions, and then the water level in different regions will grow unevenly. Data on how the glaciers will collapse will help to find out how this process threatens certain cities.

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