20 Jul 2012

Greenland iceberg splits from glacier

7:41 am on 20 July 2012

Scientists say a huge iceberg has broken away from a glacier in Greenland, in what could be another sign of global warming.

Images from a NASA satellite show the iceberg, measuring 118 square kilometres, has separated from the Petermann Glacier and is moving down a fjord on Greenland's north-west coast.

The process that spawns icebergs - known as calving - is a natural, periodic process affecting all glaciers that terminate at the ocean, the BBC reports.

A previous calving event at the same glacier in 2010 created an iceberg twice the size of this one.

Scientists have raised concerns in recent years about the Greenland ice shelf, saying that it is thinning extensively amid warm temperatures.

The calving is not expected have an impact on sea levels as the ice was already floating.

No single event of this type can be ascribed to changes in the climate.