Scientists say, the iceberg is unstable, and could be a threat to the village nearby.
Image Credit: Karl Petersen/AFP/Getty Images
The photograph is a tunning: a giant mountain of ice towers over a tiny village, with colorful homes reminiscent of little doll houses against the stark, blue-gray landscape.
But for the people living in those houses – that beauty could be life-threatening.”It’s kind of like, if you lived in the suburbs, and you woke up one morning and looked out, and there was a skyscraper next to your house,” says David Holland, an oceanographer at New York University who does research in Greenland during the summer months.
“I’d be the first to get out of there.”He says that’s why authorities have taken action to evacuate those living closest to the water from the village of Innaarsuit, where the iceberg has parked itself just off the coast.
According to the BBC, the village has just 169 residents.”In these shallow bays, these icebergs may drift in and become stuck, grounded on the sea floor,” Holland says. “So that’s what happened to one of these bergs.”Holland says it can be quite alarming for residents.
“These are small villages with little houses located right at the shoreline, and all of a sudden icebergs show up, and they look like New York skyscrapers, they’re just towering,” he says. “They’re very unstable, and they can break up.”
The Elephant Foot Glacier is located on the Kronprins Christian Land peninsula.
It is not connected to Greenland’s main ice sheet. Rather, it’s part of a network of glaciers and ice caps that hangs around the periphery of the island.
Research has shown that as a whole, these outlying glaciers and ice caps account for 5 to 7 percent of Greenland’s total ice coverage, but they are responsible for 20 percent of its contribution to sea level rise.
Greenland’s bays are dotted with icebergs, also known as growlers, that have sheared off from glaciers.
Waider writes about the landscape in wondering tones on his blog: ‘This place is one of the most unique places I have seen in my life.
Icebergs breaking off the massive glacier are sometimes so large, they seem like small floating countries – you could easily fit a small town on top of them’
Image Credit: Photograph by Jan Erik Waider
‘Also, the colours were different with every iceberg that came along. Depending on the age and pressure they were under, the colour ranged from black over blue and white to almost glass-like and transparent’