NASA Image Shows New York City-Sized Glacier About to Split from Antarctica

NASA/Public Domain

See that crack? That's evidence from NASA that Antarctica is just about to get smaller by around, oh, the size of New York City. National Geographic reports:

With a gargantuan crack slowly splitting it apart, Antarctica's fastest-melting glacier is about to lose a chunk of ice larger than all of New York City, scientists say.The crevasse stretches 19 miles (30 kilometers) long and up to 260 feet (80 meters) wide, as shown in a picture taken by NASA's Terra satellite in October and featured this week as a NASA Image of the Day.

Snaking across the floating tongue of the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica, the crack is expected to create an iceberg 350 square miles (907 square kilometers)—versus 303 square miles (785 square kilometers) for Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx combined, according to NASA.

And scientists say that this particular melting glacier means more trouble than usual when it comes to sea level rise. Glaciologist Ted Scambos told NatGeo that "When 'that point of rifting starts to climb upstream, generally you see some acceleration of the glacier.' That means that the ice will flow into the ocean at a faster rate, contributing even more to sea level rise."

Which fits the theme for Pine Island Glacier, which is already the glacier in Antarctica that's contributing most to sea level rise.

I love how, despite all that, despite the fact that people can look directly at a massive crack in an important glacier, and still say, "Nope, 97% of the world's climate scientists are wrong. The world's not warming."

Tags: Antarctica | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Effects | Global Warming Science

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