Sunday, July 17, 2011

Petermann Ice Island

In August 2010 a huge chunk of ice detached itself from the Petermann Glacier on Greenland. It has been drifting southward since then and is now located off the coast of Labrador. This is no ordinary chunk of ice. It is about the size of Manhattan, 3 miles long and 2.8 miles wide, and has its own mountains, waterfalls and seal colony. The size of the island is continuously decreasing through both melting and calving. It has itself become a source of icebergs. Updates of the Petermann Ice Island progress may be found at Environment Canada.

The island is expected to reach the Strait of Belle Isle between August and October 2011. Since the island is so large, it is expected to float further south than icebergs usually move and as it reaches warmer waters, it will break up into more and more icebergs, resulting in increased danger for off-shore petroleum rigs and shipping lanes.