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Earth

100-Sq.-Mile Ice Island Breaks Off Greenland Glacier 323

suraj.sun sends word of a 100-sq.-mile (260-sq.-km) ice island that broke off of a Greenland glacier on Thursday. "The block of ice separated from the Petermann Glacier, on the north-west coast of Greenland. It is the largest Arctic iceberg to calve since 1962... The ice could become frozen in place over winter or escape into the waters between Greenland and Canada. ... [NASA satellite] images showed that Petermann Glacier lost about one-quarter of its 70-km-long (43-mile) floating ice shelf. There was enough fresh water locked up in the ice island to 'keep all US public tap water flowing for 120 days,' said Prof Muenchow." The Montreal Gazette has more details and implications for Canadian shipping and oil exploration, along with this telling detail: "the ice island’s thickness [is] more than 200 metres in some places... [or] half the height of the Empire State Building." The NY Times has a good satellite photo of the situation.

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