See the missing bit? That is a 1.5 kilometer retreat of the so-called “calving front” of the glacier.
In truth, this particular sort of even is not that unusual, but what is interesting is that new satellite monitoring capabilities allow researchers to notice these events more or less when they happen, as opposed to during less frequent inspections of satellite imagery.
And, there are some climate-change related features of this event.
“While there have been ice breakouts of this magnitude from Jakonbshavn and other glaciers in the past, this event is unusual because it occurs on the heels of a warm winter that saw no sea ice form in the surrounding bay,” said Thomas Wagner, cryospheric program scientist at NASA Headquarters. “While the exact relationship between these events is being determined, it lends credence to the theory that warming of the oceans is responsible for the ice loss observed throughout Greenland and Antarctica.”