Iceberg Breaks Free from Greenland, Worries Scientists

Jul, 26, 2012

By Fredrica Syren

Now, I know that whatever is going on in Antarctica or Greenland might not be too interesting to us living here in a much better climate. But, believe me, whatever is going on there does have an impact on the rest of the world because over there you can see the decline of nature very clearly. Please keep reading and follow this article.

For a while scientists had predicted the dramatic event of an iceberg larger than Manhattan breaking from a Greenland glacier, which happened last week. This concerns scientists, as it’s a sign that Greenland, like the rest of world, is being affected by warming temperatures and that the oceans are getting warmer due to climate change.

This event is nothing new, as scientists have seen this happen in Antarctica many times; but even though iceberg birth is a natural, cyclical process, when the process speeds up, there are consequences. The floating ends of glaciers, known as ice shelves, act as doorstops. When these ice shelves suddenly splinter and weaken or collapse entirely, the glaciers that feed them speed up, dumping more ice into the ocean and raising global sea levels.

For sure this means that glaciers are melting more rapidly. The biggest of the western glaciers, the Pine Island Glacier, is moving 40% faster than it was in the 1970s, discharging water and ice more rapidly into the ocean. When the glaciers melt, sea levels rise.

A 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted a sea level rise of 7 to 23 inches by the end of the century, which could flood low-lying areas and force millions of people to relocate.


Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

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