Scientists Spot Crack at Top of the World

Northern Hemisphere's largest floating glacier breaking up
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2008 1:59 AM CDT
A giant crack is growing in a prominent glacier in northern Greenland.    (AP Photo/Byrd Polar Research Center)
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(Newser) – A huge crack—seven miles long and a half-mile wide—has opened in a northern Greenland glacier as an 11-square-mile chunk of ice appears to be breaking off. The phenomenon is occurring in the Northern Hemisphere's largest floating glacier, once thought largely immune to the effects of global warming, reports the AP. Scientists now predict disintegration of a major portion of the glacier within the year.

"This crack is moving. It's just a matter of time till a much larger piece is going to break off," warned a glacier expert. A chunk about half the size of Manhattan already came off the glacier last month. The melt-off is raising fears of a dangerous increase in sea levels. "As we see this phenomenon occurring further and further north, it certainly adds to the concerns," said another expert.