DC-8 photo of Antarctic ice from NASA’s IceBridge Mission
The crack that’s about to calve an iceberg the size of NYC. photo: NASA

NASA flew over the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica on October 14th, 2011 and noticed a crack.  A big crack.  After assessing the situation they realized that an iceberg the size of New York City is about to break off the Antarctic ice sheet.

The crack is 18 miles long and 260 feet deep and it’s widening over 6 feet per day.  When it breaks off in a few weeks, it’ll be an iceberg the size of New York City (which is within the state of New York).

DC-8 photo of Antarctic ice from NASA’s IceBridge Mission

With all the hype about human caused global warming people looked to blame this new crack on climate change.


“It’s part of a natural process but it’s pretty exciting to be here and actually observe it while it happens. – Michael Studinger, lead scientist of NASA’s IceBridge project.

The last large crack discovered on the Pine Island Glacier was in 2001.

NASA’s IceBridge Mission

-“Our study plan is based on a desire to avoid an ‘Oh my god’ moment in 2016 when ICESat-2 starts collecting data,” Studinger told reporters. “So we need to monitor the change in the thickness of the ice from 2009 to 2016.”

– Project designated to mapping and documenting the changes occurring in the four primary types of Antarctic ice — ice sheets, glaciers, ice shelves and sea ice

– This is the 3rd year of the mission

– These scientist fly around in a DC-8 and take picture of ice all day

– Scientists are based in Punta Arena, Chile

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