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Record decline of ice sheets: Scientists map elevation changes of Greenlandic and Antarctic glaciers

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Record decline of ice sheets: Scientists map elevation changes of Greenlandic and Antarctic glaciers

Posted: 20 Aug 2014 08:05 AM PDT

Researchers have for the first time extensively mapped Greenland’s and Antarctica’s ice sheets with the help of the ESA satellite CryoSat-2 and have thus been able to prove that the ice crusts of both regions momentarily decline at an unprecedented rate. In total the ice sheets are losing around 500 cubic kilometers of ice per year….The areas where the researchers detected the largest elevation changes were Jakobshavn Isbrae (Jakobshavn Glacier) in West Greenland and Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica.
Since February 2014 scientists know that the Jakobshavn Isbrae is moving ice into the ocean at a record speed of up to 46 meters a day.
The Pine Island Glacier hit the headlines in July 2013. Back then AWI scientists reported that a table iceberg as large as the area of Hamburg had broken off the tip of its ice shelf. But whereas both the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Peninsula, on the far west of the continent, are rapidly losing volume, East Antarctica is gaining volume — though at a moderate rate that doesn’t compensate the losses on the other side of the continent….

 

Greenland And West Antarctic Ice Sheet Loss More Than Doubled In Last Five Years

by Joe Romm Posted on August 22, 2014

That is the highest speed observed since altimetry satellite records began about 20 years ago.”…

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