As The Washington Post’s Chelsea Harvey reported last week, members of the Arctic Sea Ice Forum noticed that between Aug. 14 and Aug. 16, Greenland’s huge and fast-melting Jakobshavn Glacier lost what some believe is the largest chunk of ice ever observed. NASA captured a startling view of the glacier before and after.
According to a post on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum, reported Harvey, the total area of ice that separated is almost five square miles, making it, according to some, the largest “calving” event to occur on a glacier. But not everyone Harvey interviewed believed the recent separation could be considered the largest. Instead, some experts believe the recent loss of ice could have occurred in several smaller events. And as The Post’s Chris Mooney points out it is hard to say if it’s a record because “Greenland is incompletely monitored.”
Later last week, Joshua Stevens of NASA’s Earth Observatory acquired images from Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite showing the glacier’s front on July 31, 2015, before the large ice large chunk separated and on Aug. 16, 2015 after the separation.
The results are striking: