Giant Iceberg on the loose! - KMSP-TV

Giant Iceberg on the loose!

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© FrazierFox9 © FrazierFox9

Giant Iceberg on the loose!


Watch out Titanic, well maybe it's a bit late for that, but a new iceberg is on the loose. Besides were talking Antarctica, not the North Atlantic. This latest contribution to the iceberg population occurred this past Monday, July 8, 2013. In Antarctica, there is plenty of ice and it is not uncommon to see some of that frozen real estate break free. This latest chunk to hit the open waters is roughly 278 square miles, about the size of the entire Chicago metropolitan area. Scientists knew that the Pine Island Glacier was about to lose it, as they noticed it cracking up back in late 2011.

The Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, the part of the glacier that extends out into the water, last produced large icebergs in 2001 and 2007. Glaciers are rivers of compressed ice and are always in motion. They are no small things, as they hold about 75% of the world's fresh water and cover about 10% of the planet. In the United States, glaciers cover over 30,000 square miles, with most of the glaciers located in Alaska. The ice that makes up these glaciers is so tightly compressed, that it absorbs all the colors in the spectrum except blue. So they glow with an almost fluorescent blue hue. You may sometimes see green glacier ice and that is the trapped algae expose to sunlight. White icebergs, well those are just covered in compressed snow.

iceberg reflecting the blue light.

Green colored iceberg. NOAA

snow covered iceberg. photo by Rachel Lea Fox

Also, did you know that most icebergs are 90% underwater with only the top 10% showing? Frazier


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