Uunartoq Qeqertoq aka Warming Island in pictures

September 30, 2007 at 1:47 pm | Posted in Climate change, Greenland, LandSat, NASA, Uunartoq Qeqertoq, Visual aids, Warming Island | Leave a comment

Dear Magnus,

Please watch the video again.

In it, you will see explorer Dennis Schmitt pointing to the location on a map and explaining,

“That feature there which shows up as a peninsula is now an island.”

He discovered this island had become separate from the mainland two years ago, in September 2005, and an expedition to document and explore the island was organised for September 2006.

“It’s probably the world’s newest island … we thought this, as a very visual, a very graphic, example of climate change should be documented.”

Dennis said, and later he explained how the island came into existence,

“It is a peninsula whose ice shelf has broken up and allowed a new island to emerge.”

Later in the video, he emphasised the importance of this, as it is one of many visual examples around the world that have required cartographers to redraw maps:

“It’s a very dramatic fact of geography, that tells you something is changing.”

NASA Landsat Project released the following photos in their Gallery files on 26 April 2007. It is clear that this newborn island (which looks like the letter ‘W’ at a slight angle in the centre of each photograph) was part of the mainland in 1985, and 2002. However, by 2005 the ice sheet had broken up and the island was revealed. I have linked the images to NASA Landsat Gallery so you can see larger versions of the second two.

USGS Landsat Project Uunartoq Qeqertoq 11 August 1985

USGS Landsat Project Uunartoq Qeqertoq 5 September 2002

USGS Landsat Project Uunartoq Qeqertoq 4 September 2005

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