ODT/NZPA: Monster iceberg breaks up after calving from glacier

An ice break-off from the Tasman Glacier has been far bigger than expected – instead of the 10 million tonnes expected, estimations are that up to 50 million tonnes of ice may have calved off the glacier.

The glacier is the largest in New Zealand’s Southern Alps, and this latest calving has shortened it (previously29km) length by 200m.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Scientists have predicted climate change will see most of the glacier melt over the next 20 years.

“The glacier is the largest in the Southern Alps and, at 29km, is noted as one of the longest in the world’s temperate zones, but it is at such a low altitude — 730 metres above sea level — that it melts rapidly.

“The monster iceberg shattered after breaking off, and there are at least 20 “significant” bergs floating in the terminal lake, all at least 50m high, said Mr Callasen.

“There were also thousands of smaller pieces of ice, covering about a third of the lake, he said.”