Giant drifting iceberg threatens Greenland village

Christopher Davidson
July 14, 2018

An iceberg the size of a hill has drifted close to a tiny village on the western coast of Greenland, causing fear that it could swamp the settlement with a tsunami if it calves.

A video of the incident was taken by his wife, Denise Holland of New York University's environmental fluid dynamics laboratory.

Holland said Wednesday that the time-lapse video, speeded up 20 times, shows "3 percent of the annual ice loss of Greenland occur in 30 minutes".

"It sounded like rockets going off", he said, describing it as "a very complex, chaotic, noisy event".

He said that "the real concern is in Antarctica, where ... the stakes are much higher".

The current fears come only weeks after scientists released a video of a massive iceberg breaking free from a glacier in eastern Greenland.

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Susanne K. Eliassen, a member of the village council, told the local newspaper Sermitsiaq that it was not unusual for large icebergs to be seen close to Innaarsuit, but that this was the biggest she had seen.

The settlement in northwestern Greenland has 169 inhabitants, but only those living closest to the iceberg have been evacuated, Ritzau reported.

Villagers at risk have been moved to safer areas of the community, with school buildings, a daycare center and relatives offering sanctuary from the behemoth berg, deputy chief officer Lina Davidsen told KNR.

Innaarsuit is located about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) north of Nuuk, Greenland's capital and largest city.

"Iceberg production in Greenland has been increasing in the past 100 years as climate change has become stronger", William Colgan, senior researcher at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, said.

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