See a glacier spawn an iceberg in this dramatic video

"By capturing how it unfolds, we can see, first-hand, its breath-taking significance".

While it's hard to get a sense of scale from the camera's wide-angle view of the separating iceberg, the berg is so big that it could partially cover the island of Manhattan, extending from the lower tip of New York City into Midtown, according to the statement.

Helheim Glacier, named after Hel, the Viking realm of the dead, is the fastest flowing glacier on the eastern side of the Greenland Ice Sheet, NASA says.

The research team is now studying the forces behind sea-level rise-a development that has concerned scientists in recent decades because it points to the possibility of global disruptions due to climate change-under a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Holland and his team managed to capture dramatic footage of the process by which this retreat takes place, something known as calving.

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Denise Holland, a research team field manager with NYU, caught the eye-opening occurrence on video, which condenses 30 minutes of activity down to about 90 seconds.

New York University scientists have captured a four-mile iceberg breaking away from a glacier in eastern Greenland on video.

It only took 30 minutes for an iceberg almost half the size of Manhattan to separate from a glacier in Greenland. It's a tabular iceberg, long and flat; in the video, you can also see tall, thin pinnacle icebergs crack off and flip over. Scientists have been keeping a close eye on the frozen river as a key indicator of global warming and sea-level rise, with its front retreating around 2.5 miles (4 km) between 1998 and 2013. "The better we understand what's going on means we can create more accurate simulations to help predict and plan for climate change".

Earth's biggest glaciers are in frozen Antarctica, and their breakup would be catastrophic for sea level rise; the loss of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would release enough water to raise global sea levels by almost 10 feet (3 meters).

The research is being carried by NYU's Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and NYU Abu Dhabi's Center for Global Sea Level Change-both directed by David Holland.

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