In what he calls ‘a manifestation of warming’, Dr Richard Bates who helps monitor the Greenland ice said he was ‘amazed’ to see such a huge area of ice break off the Petermann glacier.
Reported in the Telegraph a team from the University of St Andrews said that a huge 106 square mile chunk of ice had broken away at the start of August. This is the largest ever seen to come from Greenland.
The US National Ice Center has named the iceberg the ‘Petermann Ice Island’.
They also report that the Petermann glacier, which is located in North West Greenland to the East of the Nares Strait and one of the largest in the Northern hemisphere, has retreated back to a level not observed since 1962.
This has prompted fears that global warming is advancing more rapidly than thought and that the melt may worsen. According to the Telegraph report a 2C to 7C rise in temperature would be enough to melt all the ice in Greenland and raise sea level by 23ft.
This comes hot on the heels of many who say that the first 6 months of 2010 were the warmest on record due to AGW.
There are those though that say this is a normal occurrence and to be expected. After all, the glacier had been advancing for some time and cracks had begun to appear, which normally leads to natural calving.
Records on sea water surrounding the glacier only started in 2003 so it would be hard to confirm one way or another.
Jim Scianna of the US National Ice Center told Voice of America that this sort even is very common in the Arctic. "There's about 10-40,000 of them that occur during the year in the Arctic region.Â What's unusual about this one is the size," he said.
Whereas Melanie Duchin, a Greenpeace activist, said "I think this is more evidence to add to the growing body of knowledge that shows that climate change is happening,"
Ocean Science professor Andreas Muenchow says that the event when looked at in the round is not that significant. "An event like this, this specific event, all flags go immediately up, 'Oh, let's explain this by global warming.' I cannot support that," he said.
Just who do we listen to?