Petermann Glacier, part of a unique ice-tongue fjord environment in a rarely studied region of northwestern Greenland, lost substantial sections of its ice tongue
during major 2010 and 2012 calving events.
The sea itself is frozen over for most of the year with more than two metres of ice, which glues the ice tongue
in place and protects it from waves and currents raised by the often hurricane-force winds that howl down from the heart of the continent.
The shape of the ice tongue
influences the stability of the glacier and how quickly it flows.
Daniel, who is one of a team working to secure Grindelwald from natural hazards caused by the changing landscape, holds up a picture showing what the area looked like 200 years ago and points to what he calls the "ice tongue
" of the glacier snaking all the way down the mountainside and licking the edge of the village in the valley below.
In past decades, most of the glaciers also had an "ice tongue
," a floating shelf of ice about 100 meters thick that extends from the main body of the glacier.
Scientists say the shearing off of the ice tongue
and the presence of the Mertz and B-9B icebergs could affect global ocean circulation.
Nasa satellites have spotted the B- 15 A iceberg moving toward the Drygalski Ice Tongue
and scientists expect a collision to occur no later than Saturday: ``It's a clash of the titans, '' said Robert Bindshadler, a Nasa research scientist.
According to a report in New Scientist, a group of scientists and climate change activists who are closely monitoring the Petermann glacier's ice tongue
believe that the rapid flow of ice is in part due to warm ocean currents moving up along the coast of Greenland, fuelled by global warming.
It was once a piece of the Thwaites Ice Tongue
, an extension of the Thwaites glacier which flows into the Amundsen Sea.
'How do these 'ice tongues
', together with the sea ice, the influx of warmer water, and the geology of the underwater landscape, impact the stability of the Ryder Glacier?
The new measure can now provide protection for areas of ocean revealed when ice shelves, glaciers or ice tongues
retreat or collapse along the Antarctic Peninsula, and designate them as a Special Area for Scientific Research.
The three sites all sit offshore from ice shelves or smaller ice tongues
, aprons of glacial ice that extend into the ocean.