Sunday, August 16, 2009
Huge Antarctic Glacier Melting Much More Rapidly Than Believed
Here is yet another wake up call to the countries of the world that cannot agree on what to do about climate change, the massive West Antarctic Pine Island Glacier has been found to be melting four times faster than it was reported to be melting just 10 years ago. In an article posted on TimesOnline one of the British researchers who studied the glacier is quoted as saying “This is unprecedented in this area of Antarctica. We’ve known that it’s been out of balance for some time, but nothing in the natural world is lost at an accelerating exponential rate like this.” It is now predicted that if this accelerated melting continues the main section of the glacier will completely disappear in 100 years rather than the 600 years which was the previous estimate. Last year it was reported that this glacier was moving toward the sea at an accelerated rate of 7% greater than the previous year. Before the annual rate of increase was 1%. Scientists estimate that the melting of this glacier and the stationary ice behind it could raise sea level by about a foot. Adding that to predictions of sea level rise from other sources equals a more dire situation for coastal areas in the future.