A huge chunk of ice, 4 times that of Manhattan's size, has broken away from a Greenland glacier, a researcher from University of Delaware has reported.
Andreas Muenchow, associate professor of physical ocean science and engineering reported the discovery.
The new ice island has an area of at least 100 square miles and a thickness up to half the height of the Empire State Building.
Petermann Glacier, the parent of the new ice island, is one of the two largest remaining glaciers in Greenland that terminate in floating shelves.
It connects the great Greenland ice sheet directly with the ocean.
"The freshwater stored in this ice island could keep the Delaware or Hudson rivers flowing for more than two years. It could also keep all U.S. public tap water flowing for 120 days," Muenchow said.
The island will enter Nares Strait, a deep waterway between northern Greenland and Canada. Here, it may become land-fast, block the channel, or it may break into smaller pieces as it is propelled south by the prevailing ocean currents.
From there, said Muenchow, it will likely follow along the coasts of Baffin Island and Labrador, to reach the Atlantic within the next two years.