Saturday, August 15, 2009

LARGE ANTARCTIC GLACIER THINNING FOUR TIMES FASTER THAN A DECADE AGO

BBC - One of the largest glaciers in Antarctica is thinning four times faster than it was 10 years ago, according to research seen by the BBC. A study of satellite measurements of Pine Island glacier in west Antarctica reveals the surface of the ice is now dropping at a rate of up to 16m a year. Since 1994, the glacier has lowered by as much as 90m, which has serious implications for sea-level rise . . . Calculations based on the rate of melting 15 years ago had suggested the glacier would last for 600 years. But the new data points to a lifespan for the vast ice stream of only another 100 years.