A massive glacier that likely gave birth to the infamous iceberg that sank the RMS Titanic is picking up speed and shedding ice at a rate faster than any time in modern history.
Located in Greenland, the Jakobshavn Glacier produces around 10% of all Greenland icebergs - more than 35 billion tonnes every year. According to a study published in the journal The Cryosphere, the Jakobshavn is now moving at a speed of 150-feet per day, making it the fastest glacier in the world.
“We are seeing summer speeds more than four times what they were in the 1990s on a glacier which at that time was believed to be one of the fastest, if not the fastest, glacier in Greenland,” Ian Joughin, the lead author of the study, told the UK Independent.
As the Jakobshvan rockets towards the sea (covering an "unprecendented" 10.5 miles per year), it's also calving off more icebergs - raising sea levels and creating shipping hazards.
"The volume of Jakobshavn Isbræ entering the ocean is already so considerable that it is affecting sea levels, causing a rise of about one millimeter between 2000 and 2010," the papaer states. "In the future, the glacier will cause sea levels to rise even further."
In 2012, the Jakobshvan was the subject of the Academy Award-nominated film "Chasing Ice," which documented the glacier's rapid movement; includes scenes from a glacier calving event that showed a record 1.8 cubic miles of ice crashing into the sea. Check out that amazing footage below.
Related on MNN: