Ice Island Twice the Size of Manhattan Breaks From Greenland
A chuck of ice 46 square miles in area has broken off the Petermann Glacier, according to the Canadian Ice Service. Scientists warn that rising ocean temperature could do further damage.
What's the Latest Development?
On Monday, a chuck of ice 46 square miles in area broke off the Petermann Glacier, a floating ice shelf off the west coast of Greenland, according to researchers at the University of Delaware and Canadian Ice Service. "The Greenland ice sheet as a whole is shrinking, melting and reducing in size as the result of globally changing air and ocean temperatures and associated changes in circulation patterns in both the ocean and atmosphere," said Andreas Muenchow of Delaware University. In 2010, a chuck of ice two times in size, or four times the area of Manhattan, broke from the Petermann Glacier.
What's the Big Idea?
Since 1987, Arctic air temperatures have increased about 2.5 degrees Celsius, consistent with documentation that air temperatures are rising about twice as fast over the Arctic as they are in other parts of the world. Yet when it comes to sea ice, air temperature is not the crucial factor. Researchers believe currents of warmer water are reaching the Arctic, though ocean temperature records are only five to eight years old, and therefore not reliable enough to establish a pattern. As evidence of the dangerous feedback loops scientists fear as a result of global warming, measurements show ice sheets are becoming darker and less reflective, and therefore absorbing more heat, as global temperatures climb.
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SpaceX plans to launch about 12,000 internet-providing satellites into orbit over the next six years.
- SpaceX plans to launch 1,600 satellites over the next few years, and to complete its full network over the next six.
- Blanketing the globe with wireless internet-providing satellites could have big implications for financial institutions and people in rural areas.
- Some are concerned about the proliferation of space debris in Earth's orbit.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
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Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
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