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Environment

September 15, 2020 - CBC News Canada

A big chunk of Greenland's ice cap breaks off as Arctic shifts to new climate regime

A big chunk of Greenland's ice cap breaks off as Arctic shifts to new climate regime
Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise ship in arcticCredit: Greenpeace

A big chunk of Greenland's ice cap, estimated to be some 110 square kilometres, has broken off in the far north east Arctic, which scientists say is evidence of rapid climate change.

The news comes as scientists reported that the long-frozen region is already shifting to an entirely new climate regime, marked by escalating trends in ice melt, temperature rise and rainfall days. The new research was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Those findings, climate scientist Laura Landrum said, were "unnerving."

The section of the Greenland ice cap, part of the Spalte glacier, broke off the fjord called Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden, which is roughly 80 kilometres long and 20 kilometres wide, the National Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland said Monday. The glacier is at the end of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream, where it flows off land and into the ocean.

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