Scientists capture iceberg breaking away from a glacier in Greenland

Handout.  Reuters

Handout. Reuters

Raw Video: NYU scientists capture video of a four-mile iceberg breaking away from a glacier in Greenland.

Sea levels are rising and one of the culprits is the loss of ice from glaciers and ice sheets, victims of a warming planet.

According to the latest predictions, if the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet collapsed it could cause global sea levels to rise by ten feet, overwhelming coastal cities around the world like NY and Abu Dhabi.

Researchers from New York University filmed the massive sheet of ice breaking off the Helheim Glacier over 30 minutes on June 22, then sped it up to just 90 seconds. - "Catching as it unfolds, we can see its value". The scientists were researching the effects of climate change at the Helheim Glacier.

The results after the iceberg breaking away from a glacier would stretch from lower Manhattan up to Midtown in New York City.

"And here we can see his wonderful significance", notes the study's lead author David Holland, Professor, Institute of mathematics NY. One startling aspect of the video is the noticeable rise in sea level as the glacier chunk enters the ocean.

How can this video help investigations into sea level rise? The calving event, captured in stunning footage by a team of researchers on site, spurred several other tall icebergs to separate as well, with some even flipping over entirely. "The better we understand what is happening, the more accurate the simulation we can create to predict and plan for climate change", said David Holland.

"Knowing how come icebergs are important for modelling, because the icebergs ultimately determine global sea-level rise". The grant is part of the newly announced $25-million International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, headed by the U.K.'s Natural Environment Research Council and the National Science Foundation, which will deploy scientists to gather the data needed to understand whether the glacier's collapse could begin in the next few decades or next few centuries.

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