Scientists capture iceberg breaking away from a glacier in Greenland

It's hard to get a sense of scale from the video, but the researchers pointed out in a statement that this iceberg would cover most of Lower and Midtown Manhattan.

Earth's biggest glaciers are in frozen Antarctica, and their breakup would be catastrophic for sea level rise; the loss of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would release enough water to raise global sea levels by almost 10 feet (3 meters).

It broke off from Helheim Glacier in eastern Greenland on June 22 and captured by a team of scientists in real time.

The research team is now studying the forces behind sea-level rise-a development that has concerned scientists in recent decades because it points to the possibility of global disruptions due to climate change-under a grant from the National Science Foundation.

But even though the icebergs tossed into the sea here are contributing to sea level rise, scientists still don't know exactly how such break-ups work. "And here we can see his wonderful significance", notes the study's lead author David Holland, Professor, Institute of mathematics NY.

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The process by which ice breaks away from a glacier is known as calving. But while there are abundant satellite observations of Antarctica's ice sheets, it's extremely challenging to gather data from the surface of the remote continent, Holland said. However, this ice sheet is becoming small due to increased melting and warming temperatures in the region mean more loss of ice.

"The range of these different iceberg formation styles helps us build better computer models for simulating and modeling iceberg calving", explains Denise Holland.

The vast piece of ice that breaks away is described as a tabular iceberg because it is wide and flat. As it does so, thin and tall icebergs-also known as pinnacle bergs-calve off and flip over.

A new video - captured by a team of New York University researchers and shared online this week - shows the dramatic calving event.

The event lasted more than 30 minutes, but the movie was compressed to about 90 seconds.

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