Before Our Eyes: Collapse! Watch the largest glacier collapse ever caught on film

Click below to watch a 5-minute video of the largest glacier collapse ever caught on film, according to the 2016 Guiness Book of World Records.

On May 28, 2008, while setting up to capture time-lapse footage of the Ilulissat Glacier (also known as the Jakobshavn Glacier) in western Greenland, documentary filmmakers Adam LeWinter and Jeff Orlowski happened to be in the right place, at the right time, to capture on film a 75-minute calving event during which a chunk of ice roughly the size of Manhattan broke off the glacier and collapsed into the ocean, causing a virtually instantaneous one-mile retreat of this Greenland glacier.

The filmmakers’ footage of glacier changes in the Arctic, due to global warming, was ultimately part of a documentary film, Chasing Ice, which won an Emmy in 2014. (You can stream it on Netflix.)

In 2015, the same glacier lost another 5 square mile chunk of ice during a 2-day period in August.  Its current melting rate is roughly three times its melting rate in the 1990’s, according to a scientific study published in 2014. The Greenland ice sheet is dumping about 300 gigatons of ice into the ocean each year, according to NASA, making it the current largest source of sea-level rise from melting ice.

A complete melting of the Greenland ice sheet would raise global sea-level by about 20 feet, with dramatic consequences for coastal communities.

Video credit: Chasing Ice. 5-minute video of the largest ice sheet collapse ever caught on film.


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