Cracked PIG spawns big berg

NASA’s IceBridge operation for this Antarctic summer has discovered that the Pine Island Glacier is in the process of calving a massive iceberg — 880 square kilometres of the floating glacier tongue is about to go floatabout, leaving the glacier snout shorter than any time since its position was first recorded in the 1940s. The crack was first spotted by a flight on October 14, and surveyed during a flight on the 28th — featured in the video above. NASA’s Earth Observatory has more pictures and commentary, and there’s a background piece for the video at the NASA IceBridge news page. See also the NASA Ice Fickr stream and NASA Explorer Youtube channel.

20 thoughts on “Cracked PIG spawns big berg”

  1. Another alarmist post that is destined to be forgotten.

    I wonder if Matt Ridley’s Edinburgh lecture, delivered 31.10.11 has reached your antennae yet ? Ridley’s hot topic is pseudo-science, and he has this to say…

    “I am now going to plunge into an issue on which almost all the experts are not only confident they can predict the future, but absolutely certain their opponents are pseudoscientists. It is an issue on which I am now a heretic. I think the establishment view is infested with pseudoscience. The issue is climate change…”

    It really is very perceptive stuff, but may be quite a challenge for you.

    Have a read at

    1. bennydale: let me quote you from Matt Ridley’s speech:

      Bertrand Russell* pointed this out many years ago: “If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence.”

      There you have in a nutshell the entire climate denier scene beautifully framed. To the liberal capitalist mind Man can do nothing the like of wrecking the climate or run into serious resource constraints because according to the instinct of the cornucopist, surely there are no limits to the wealth we can wring from this planet.
      It is the guttural instincts of the right wing scene in the US/UK and elsewhere who keep the nonsense of climate change denial alive. And as Matt Ridley pointed out so well, a press that is mostly scientifically illiterate sucks up pseudo scientific crap with glee. Controversy sells papers and Heretics love to stand on boxes and thrive under the attention (and money) given to their delusions by those who’s instinct or economic interest is aligned with their rants.

      Now if Matt Ridley himself was scientifically literate, then he would see that the shadow of the predictions of the Club of Rom indeed loom rather large:

      “Will this be the world that your grandchildren will thank you for? A world where industrial production has sunk to zero. Where population has suffered a catastrophic decline. Where the air, sea and land are polluted beyond redemption. Where civilization is a distant memory. This is the world that the computer forecasts.” (Club of Rome)

      Now that our economies are already imploding from the resource constraints impacting on the fantasy of exponential growth (which is required if you wanted to carry on the Ponzi scheme of spending the money of your children today with interest….), the hope that we will be able to invest ourselves out of the climate and energy crisis seems rather brave. And Matt Ridley surely could enlighten us on why this is so….

      Never mind Matt, go and have another drink with the Potty Lordship where your pontifications about climate science will well received indeed.

  2. I particularly like this…

    “It is left to the blogosphere to keep the flame of heresy alive and do the investigative reporting the media has forgotten how to do…:

  3. Ridley is a million miles off-topic in this thread. Cease and desist until I post an open thread or something about Ridley (which I might do, because his speech is – er – remarkable, from a parallel universe).

  4. This looks very much like the rift that developed in 2001 also captured by NASA. The PIG is not an ice shelf that experiences melting. This rift may well owe its origin to expansion from a basal crevasse versus a surface crevasse. The basal crevasses maybe the most critical feature in rift formation at PIG.

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