A massive iceberg twice the size of Manhattan has broken away from Greenland's Petermann Glacier this week - fulfilling predictions made by scientists last year
An iceberg measuring 46 square miles - equivalent to twice the size of Manhattan - has calved off one of Greenland's largest glaciers earlier this week. The event, which had been predicted by scientists last fall, was confirmed by NASA satellite imagery.
The iceberg is the second massive loss for the Petermann Glacier in two years, following the calving of an iceberg double the size in 2010.
Andreas Muenchow, a researcher at the University of Delaware, reported the iceberg separation.
"While the size is not as spectacular as it was in 2010, the fact that it follows so closely to the 2010 event brings the glacier’s terminus to a location where it has not been for at least 150 years," Muenchow said in a press release.
He predicts the massive chunk of ice will eventually enter the Nares Strait between Greenland and Canada, where it will break up into smaller icebergs.
Commenting on the reason for the two recent massive iceberg formations in the area, Muenchow explained:
"The Greenland ice sheet as a whole is shrinking, melting and reducing in size as the result of globally changing air and ocean temperatures and associated changes in circulation patterns in both the ocean and atmosphere."
The Petermann Glacier connects the Greenland ice sheet to the Arctic Ocean and is located in northwest Greenland.