Monday, August 23, 2010

save the world: save our glacier
Ten years ago, we went to the glacier land and went right to the terminus of Franz Josef glacier. It was a majestic sight and we were in awe. There was a sign which told us to stay off the roped off area. Last year, two brothers from Australia died when a big chunk of ice fell on them.

Today a massive chunk of ice has fallen off the Tasman Glacier in Aoraki Mt Cook. Glacier watchers estimate it would have weighed about 50 million tonnes before it broke off and crashed into the lake sometime over the weekend.

Before and after photos (which can be seen in the video) show which part of the glacier face has broken off. The calved iceberg is enormous - only 10 percent of it is visible above water.

"The calving that's occurred is way bigger than we ever imagined," says Dennis Callasen, Mt Cook Tourism manager. "It's about 30 to 50 million tonnes."

The iceberg has since broken up. There are at least 20 smaller bergs floating in the Tasman Glacier terminal lake, all at least 50m long, "the largest of which is 300m by 200m by 40m high" according to Mr Callasen.
Click on the link to see the amazing sight.

What is causing the calving of these icebergs? Is it global warming?


Dave said...

Well done Ann. I saw the glacier story on TV One news but TV 3's coverage was much better. - Dave

Ginny Hartzler said...

Wow! The video really shows where the huge chunk broke of! I think this is from global warming, they say the polar bears are now in danger of not having enough habitat.