Epic Glacier Collapse Video: Is Global Warming To Blame? Not This Time [REPORT]

By Staff Writer on February 11, 2013 10:48 PM EST

Epic Glacier Collapse Video: Is Global Warming To Blame? watch film amateur
Epic Glacier Collapse Video: See the amateur clip below. (Photo: YouTube screenshot)

"Epic Glacier Collapse Caught On Video" read the environmental headline that quickly went viral after amateur photographer Christian Grosso found himself in the right place at the right time. So was man-made global warming to blame for the glacier collapsing? The answer is no, not this time.

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Watch the video of the epic glacier collapsing here:

A ordinary trip to Argentina's frosty Patagonia region turned extraordinary when amateur photographer Christian Grosso caught footage of an ice bridge connected to a larger glacier fall into the water with a huge splash.

The collapsing hunk of ice was attached to one of the largest glaciers in Patagonia, called Perito Moreno. Unlike most glaciers in the region, this one serves a dual purpose, sometimes creating a natural damn in Brazo Rico, the southern arm of Lake Argentino.

A photo of the glacier collapsing first hit the web when it was featured on NASA's as the Earth Science picture of the day by scientist Jim Foster.

"This glacier is somewhat unique in that its path takes it across an arm of a large lake," Foster told OurAmazingPlanet (via Yahoo News). "Most glaciers don't have such trajectories, so bridging and tunneling, at least at this scale, is rather rare."

It's unclear how it would affect the regional and global environment if the entire glacier collapsed or melted. However, in this case at least, global warming is not the issue. According to Yahoo, this was actually a "minor rupture." The glacier collapse was actually caused by a large hole in the ice left by a previous rupture in March 2012.

Here's more info from Earth Science Picture of the Day:

As the massive tongue (covering 97 sq. mi or 250 sq. km) of the Perito Moreno Glacier, in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina moves forward it cuts off the Brazo Rico arm of Lago Argentino. The blocked water slowly builds up pressure undermining the ice and eventually forming a cave or tunnel. Over a period of 10 to 50 months, the resulting ice bridge fails crashing into the frozen lake and upon its shore. This phenomenon repeats itself at irregular intervals, with the last two major ice collapses occurring in 2012 and 2008. I was one of perhaps 20 privileged people in Los Glaciares National Park this midsummer day to witness the spectacle. Note the robins' egg blue color of the jagged ice face (see yesterday's Earth Science Picture of the Day). Photo taken on January 19, 2013.

Photo details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 7D; Lens: EF35-350mm f/3.5-5.6L USM; Focal Length: 80.0mm; Aperture: f/5.0; Exposure Time: 0.0003 s (1/4000); ISO equiv: 400; Exposure Bias: -0.33 EV; Software: Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw 7.3 (Windows).

Every four to five years the water in Brazo Rico rises as much as 98 feet higher than the rest of Lake Argentino as a result of the glacier's movement.

The "epic glacier collapse" actually took place last month on Saturday, January 19 at 7:15 p.m.

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