Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

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The reason some popular posts are tagged ‘no title’ is not because they have no title—they all do—but because the old Blogger embedded the title at the top of text, and the new software does not see that. You can see the titles in capitals at the start of each snippet. (It would be nice if Blogger introduced an upgrade program that could fix this little problem.)

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Saturday, 26 September 2009

FAST-MELTING ICE AT POLES MAPPED

The most comprehensive picture of the rapidly thinning glaciers along the coastline of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets has been created using satellite lasers, marking an important step forward in the quest to make more accurate predictions for future sea level rise.

Researchers from British Antarctic Survey and the University of Bristol describe how analysis of millions of NASA satellite measurements from both of these vast ice sheets shows that the most profound ice loss is a result of glaciers speeding up where they flow into the sea.

The scientists compared the rates of change in elevation of both fast-flowing and slow-flowing ice. In Greenland, for example, they studied 111 fast-moving glaciers and found 81 thinning at rates twice that of slow-flowing ice at the same altitude. They found that ice loss from many glaciers in both Antarctica and Greenland is greater than the rate of snowfall further inland.

In Antarctica some of the fastest thinning glaciers are in West Antarctica (Amundsen Sea Embayment) where Pine Island Glacier and neighbouring Smith and Thwaites Glacier are thinning by up to 9 metres per year.

Full report in ScienceDaily.