Satellite images show Pine Island Glacier spawning iceberg

Pine Island Glacier Massive Iceberg

Pine Island's newest icebergs calved just days after scientists reported the hottest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica.

This is one of the largest ice streams in Antarctica which flows together with Thwaites Ice Stream into the Amundsen Sea embayment in West Antarctica.

Satellite data has shown that the glacier's flow out towards the sea is speeding up to a rate of more than 10 metres a day, it is thinning out and is retreating inland. In total, the icebergs measure about twice the size of Washington, D.C., in area (more than 130 square miles, or 350 square kilometers), according to The Washington Post. Thanks to satellite images, two large rifts in the glacier were spotted past year and scientists have been keeping a close eye on how quickly these cracks were growing.

The cracks in the glacier expanded fast and eventually led to the splitting of the iceberg on February 9.


However, it should be mentioned that recent calving events are not entirely surprising or particularly threatening to global sea levels.

"Once that effect starts to go it causes more ice to flow from the continent into the ocean, so they speed up even faster and that feedback process keeps happening".

In October 2019, Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellites were used to identify two large rifts in the PIG that had drastically increased in length within a matter of months. These two glaciers have been losing ice over the last 25 years ... Its floating ice front, which has an average thickness of approximately 500 meters (1,600 feet), has experienced a series of calving events over the past 30 years, some of which have abruptly changed the shape and position of the ice front. This break-up, known technically as a calving event, is the seventh this century for PIG, and the ninth since ESA-built satellites began monitoring the region in the 1990s.

While the world is dealing with climate change issues Antarctica has recorded almost 64.9 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a new temperature record on the continent. If both these glaciers melt, the sea levels might rise by 1.2 meters globally.

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