By Matt Owens October 29, 2013
A giant crack was first noticed in 2011. The ensuing iceberg is about 700 square kilometers. Below is an infrared view showing how the berg has drifted. Red and orange is ice or snow. White is water vapor in the air. Black is open ocean. [The grey lines are incorrectly placed in the 2012 image due to a mapping transition at NASA.]
Icebergs form as part of a normal process, although the Antarctic continental ice sheet is moving out towards the ocean faster than normal, and the ice is melting much faster than normal. The ice sheet is in fact approaching a state of collapse that is speculated to become irreversible and unstoppable if greenhouse gas emissions are not sharply and urgently curbed.
Below is a time-lapse video of the Pine Island Glacier outlet from September 2012 to March 2013 that gives some sense of how fast the ice is moving. Notice how the surface contours move. Click on the animation to open a full-screen resolution version in a new window. For more information, see the NASA Earth Observatory news story and links (click here), although please note that sea level rise projections have been revised upwards since that article was published last year.
Access NASA Worldview yourself using the link on the right side of this page (find: "NASA" --> Worldview).
And from October 6th to 28th of 2013: