The Petermann Glacier in Greenland
A giant crack has spread across the Petermann Glacier in Greenland which could release a massive iceberg into the Arctic Sea.
What has worried scientists is that the crack has formed almost across the centre of the glacier, whereas usually only small chunks fall off.
In spite of the fact that global warming continues to ravage the north and south poles, experts were surprised by the one on the Petermann Glacier – found in the northwest of Greenland – as it has appeared rather suddenly.
NASA were immediately notified of the emerging rift after it was spotted in satellite images by Dutch scientist Stef Lhermitte from Delft University of Technology.
The rift along the glacier
Mr Lhermitte scrolled back through images and noticed that the crack had begun developing as far back as July, 2016, but no one had noticed it.
Worryingly, the more inland a crack appears, the more unstable the glacier becomes.
Eric Rignot, an earth scientist from NASA and the University of California at Irvine, told the Washington Post that the crack could "indicate that the ice shelf has gotten too thin in the middle.
He said: "The ice shelf is slowly but surely falling apart.
“It has been stable from 1901 ’til the 2000s, then started to break up, especially in 2010-2012.
"The ice shelf is slowly but surely falling apart."
“We have seen the glacier speed up for the first time around 2014-2015.”
While crumbling and calving are part of a glaciers natural life cycle, unusual rifts such as this one are of added concern to scientists as it highlights that global warming is accelerating.
Major cities under threat by rising sea levels
Mon, November 30, 2015
Sea levels rising due to carbon emissions could threaten major coastal cities across the world. Here's what some of the most iconic cities around the world could look like in decades to come…
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London, based on 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution
As it stands, sea levels are rising at about 8mm a year, and while that does not seem like much, the implications for future generations could be huge.
Between 1993 and 2014, sea levels rose by 66mm – or roughly 3mm per year.
If it continues at the current rate, or gets faster, it could mean that coastal cities such as New York could be submerged by the end of the century.