Spalte Glacier in northeast Greenland is now disintegrating • Earth.com

Last update: March 5th, 2021 at 4:00 am

Spalte Glacier in northeast Greenland is now disintegrating. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Spalte Glacier in northeast Greenland, which has now broken up into numerous icebergs. 

Spalte branched off from a much larger glacier, Nioghalvfjerdsbrae, many years ago. It has since been cracking and shedding ice for decades. Spalte Glacier in northeast Greenland is now disintegrating

In late June of 2020, Spalte’s 44 square miles of ice completely broke away and started to break down into smaller pieces.

Scientists say that the event is part of a “progressive disintegration” that has happened amid unusually warm temperatures in recent years.

The image was captured on July 24 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.Nowadays, the population is concentrated mainly on the southwest coast, while the rest of the island is sparsely populated. Greenland is divided into five municipalities – SermersooqKujalleqQeqertalikQeqqata, and Avannaata. It has two unincorporated areas – the Northeast Greenland National Park and the Thule Air Base. The latter, while under Danish control, is administered by the United States Air Force. Three-quarters of Greenland is covered by the only permanent ice sheet outside of Antarctica. With a population of 56,081 (2020), it is the least densely populated region in the world. About a third of the population lives in Nuuk, the capital and largest city; the second-largest city in terms of population is Sisimiut, 320 kilometres (200 mi) north of Nuuk

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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