For seventeen days two men had set up camp overlooking a glacier in Western Greenland. Videographers Adam LeWinter and Jeff Orlowski were working for the The Extreme Ice Survey, an expedition which was documenting and collecting data on the changes glaciers were going through due to global warming.
Hoping to capture some great footage, they naturally chose to observe the Jakobshavn Glacier, which is also more commonly known as the Ilulissat Glacier in reference to the name of the town that’s nearest to it. Located on the Western side of Greenland, north of the Arctic Circle and slightly north of the glacier, the town of Ilulissat translated into English means “Icebergs.” If you want to observe a glacier, this is a prime place to do just that.
Like all glaciers, the Ilulissat Glacier is absolutely massive in scope and size. The video of it here does simply not do it any justice and towards the end of the clip you’ll understand how incredibly awesome this event truly is. According to Wikipedia the glacier is estimated to shed, or calve off, around 35 billion tons worth of icebergs every year, making it responsible for producing about 10% of all the icebergs that originate from the Greenland ice sheet.
Many of the icebergs that calve off are huge, but no recorded ones have ever been as large as the one captured here. The record-breaking calving event occurred just over 9 years ago on May 28, 2008 and it went on for over 75 minutes as a chunk of ice bigger than the size of lower Manhattan, New York crashed and rolled violently into the sea. The insane footage was featured in an award winning documentary film called Chasing Ice that one of the eyewitnesses, Jeff Orlowski, directed. He managed to catch some of the most astonishing, eye-opening, and mesmerizing video of a glacier calving ever.
In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a better illustration of the effects that climate change and global warming were having on the environment and landscape some ten years ago, so imagine how much more it has accelerated since then. Do yourself a favor and watch this the whole way through because it really is fascinating.
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