Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ice loss from Antarctica is accelerating - Survey

Global warming has caused annual ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet to surge by 75 per cent in a decade, according to the most detailed survey ever made of the white continent's coastal glaciers.

In 2006, accelerating glaciers spewed an estimated 192 billion tonnes of Antarctic ice into the sea, scientists calculate. The West Antarctica ice sheet lost some 132 billion tonnes, while the Antarctic Peninsula, the tongue of land that juts up towards South America, lost around 60 million tonnes.
But there was a "near-zero" loss in East Antarctica, the world's biggest icesheet, the paper says.

Investigators from five countries, led by Eric Rignot of NASA's fabled Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), used interferometry radar from four satellites to build a picture of the periphery of Antarctica.

They sought to measure the velocities of glaciers that shift ice to the coast from the massive sheets that cover Antarctica's bedrock.

They built up a picture of around 85 per cent of Antarctica's coastline thanks to the data supplied by the European Space Agency's two Earth Remoting Sensing (ERS) satellites, the Canadian Radarsat-1 and Japan's Advanced Land Observing satellites.

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com


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