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How NASA is tracking sea ice in Antarctica

By: Katherine Butler on Feb. 28, 2012, 6:08 p.m.
fissure across the Pine Island Glacier


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A close-up of the fissure across the Pine Island Glacier

This is a close-up of the infamous fissure on Pine Island Glacier seen on Oct. 26, 2011. Here you can see the “boulder-like blocks of ice” that fell into the crack when it split. At this point in the crack, it is about 240 feet wide and 190 feet deep in some spots. The Pine Island Glacier is losing mass by increasing amounts every year. In 2005, its mass loss measured 7 gigatons. In 2010, its mass loss was 46 gigatons.