Climate Change petermann glacier iceberg

Published on July 18th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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Huge Greenland Glacier Ice Sheet Breaks Off… Another One

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July 18th, 2012 by

 
I’m sure this is not what global warming naysayers want to hear, but an iceberg about twice the size of Manhattan has just broken off of a Greenland glacier, Petermann Glacier.

This was actually predicted by scientists last Fall, but as you should well know by now, scientists are just money-hungry, greedy, lying rascals who will say anything to get attention, so they can’t be trusted…. Well, that’s what some people think, at least.

What’s the basic result of this new development? As Nathan noted earlier today, this moves the front end of Petermann Glacier “farther inland than it has been in 150 years.” It also moves us one step closer to an ice-free Arctic.

petermann glacier

Anyone well aware of this topic will know that these things happen, naturally, but that humans are accelerating the rate of such occurrences and such changes. One of the to concerns of human-caused global warming is the actual rate of warming. This is one of the things that makes it and the resulting climate changes so destructive and concerning.

Another major concern is that these types of events create feedback loops that could eventually make global warming unstoppable. And could lead to temperatures that humans simply cannot go outside in. In other words, cannot live in.

But anyway, time to get back to checking Facebook for fun cat and dog photos, right?

Well, I hope not. This, in my opinion, is just another knock on the door, another call to wake up and get to work, to provide a future for one’s kids and grandkids that does not equal suffering through hell on earth, extreme natural disasters, and famine.

Back to the glacier…. So, I actually wrote about Petermann Glacier two years ago, the last time a massive iceberg (or ice island) came cracking off. That ice island was actually four times the size of Manhattan. (Why we always compare them to Manhattan, I don’t know.) So, it was about twice the size of the one that broke of this week.

petermann glacier iceberg collapse

Of course, to global warming deniers, that means that global warming has stopped, which would make no sense to a logical person. That would be like saying global warming has stopped when Winter comes around… as many a denier actually goes out and trumpets, showing as many people as they can just how “smart” they are. Unfortunately, the general populous shifts a bit on its understanding that global warming is happening (or misunderstanding that it isn’t) with the seasons… let’s hope that doesn’t happen to you as the northern hemisphere Summer fades and Fall and Winter roll in. Or as the Petermann Glacier and Greenland gain a bit of ice and snow again.

The Petermann glacier probably won’t last. It’s days are likely numbered. But let’s hope that the human species doesn’t follow it closely off the edge of existence.

Image Credits: Andreas Muenchow, University of Delaware; NASA

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • abby

    Personally, I don’t know a ton about global warming and the specifics of the hard science there is to back it up, or refute it. I’m still trying to decide my position on the subject, because to be honest I don’t think it wise to take information presented from either side of this debate without a grain of salt. Everyone has opinions, interests, and motives after all. It would be naive to think that any information we share isn’t tainted by them.

    I feel like you always get this kind of articles from both sides. A solid fact or two, maybe a quote from a source that sounds official and legit. And the rest a mix of confident (but still stand-alone and unsupported by verifiable fact) statements supporting clearly one side or the other. For all I know the statements in this article could be 100% true, and I do realize this is probably meant as an opinion article…

    But if this is meant to truly convince people who haven’t already made up their minds on the subject… then I’d suggest a more objective, unbiased sounding delivery. The sarcasm, insults towards those who might disagree, and condescending tone is impossible to miss and while it may add to the humor of the article for people who already strongly agree with you, it doesn’t do much for the people who you initially had the opportunity to inform and convince.

    The fact that the glacier has broken off is interesting in itself and so are it’s possible indications. But as for one of them being that the human race is teetering towards extinction is still much too strong and broad a statement for me to just eat up all the various aspects of without some more solid facts to support it or at least sources directing me to some.

    -Thanks

    • http://zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      Hello, abby.

      I guess there is an assumption that readers realize nearly 100% of climate scientists agree on this matter (humans are causing considerable global warming and climate change) and that every national science academy in the world has backed them. With that assumption, it’s clear that people either understand that’s the case or are so locked into some absurd denial that there’s no point in trying to help them.

      But I guess you are right that there are many who simply don’t know these basic facts.

      This was an interesting story, but it’s just a small side-effect. With a matter as important as global warming, which even national defense agencies are very worried about know (think of countries or large regions facing increasing famine and drought, getting displaced by extreme weather events or rising sea levels — what is going to happen in those regions as people become more and more desperate, or try to migrate elsewhere?).

      With the issue as large as it is — possibly the largest threat to human civilization we’ve ever faced — i think it’s critical that one have at least a basic understanding of the story.

      Here’s a good place to start: http://www.skepticalscience.com/big-picture.html

      As is this: http://planetsave.com/2012/01/19/what-is-causing-global-warming/

      Or videos on this page: http://planetsave.com/2011/10/06/global-warming-videos/

  • Tim Bonfield

    We all have to do our part not just the prez! that needs to be addressed too

  • sherrie

    For what it’s worth, in terms of practical results.. :
    I just sent correspondence to THE White House asking the Prez to read this, really attend to the best minds in the field, and take the lead- Be a voice- “For the children”, I said.
    I meant it.
    Anyway, If we all get our local politicians to be pains in the a– I mean, advocates, that’s when things get forced into public view. It’s a long(& winding) road, but what else can we do.

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