NASA just snapped the first photos of a mysterious crack in one of Greenland’s largest glaciers.
Scientists at NASA’s Operation IceBridge are photographing shrinking Arctic and Antarctic ice to study the effect of climate change on the planet’s polar regions.
Stef Lhermitte, a Delft University of Technology professor, first noticed the crack in the middle of the glacier in satellite images. He told The Washington Post that “it is difficult to already say anything about what exactly caused the crack on this unusual spot.”
The large glacier connects the Greenland ice sheet to the Arctic Ocean. Researchers are looking into the possibility that the crack could affect sea-level rise estimates.
“It is unusual to see cracks forming from the center. They usually form on the sides,” NASA’s Eric Rignot, a University of California-Irvine researcher, told the Washington Post. “This could indicate that the ice shelf has gotten too thin in the middle.”