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A Major Glacier Is Undermined from Below

June 27th, 2011 · No Comments

Ocean Currents Speed Melting of Antarctic Ice: A Major Glacier Is Undermined from Below
ScienceDaily (June 26, 2011) — Stronger ocean currents beneath West Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf are eroding the ice from below, speeding the melting of the glacier as a whole, according to a new study in Nature Geoscience. A growing cavity beneath the ice shelf has allowed more warm water to melt the ice, the researchers say — a process that feeds back into the ongoing rise in global sea levels. The glacier is currently sliding into the sea at a clip of four kilometers (2.5 miles) a year, while its ice shelf is melting at about 80 cubic kilometers a year — 50 percent faster than it was in the early 1990s — the paper estimates.

Tags: global warming

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