Ice In Rapid Retreat In Warming World

Antarctic ice velocity map

A vast network of previously unmapped glaciers on the move from thousands of miles inland to the Antarctic coast has been charted for the first time by UC Irvine scientists. “If we lose ice at the coasts from the warming ocean, we open the tap to the ice in the interior,” says Thomas Wagner, a cryospheric program scientist with NASA’s MEaSUREs program. Other scientists have found that the speed at which sand dunes drift across the Antarctic desert has tripled in the past 40 years, as warming temperatures loosen the ice and power wind. A new study by the Indian Space Research Organization and the Geological Survey of India in Kolkata reports that 80 percent of India’s Himalayan glaciers are receding. Researchers have also found that Greenland’s longest-observed glacier, Mittivakkat Glacier, made two consecutive record losses in mass observations for 2010 and 2011.

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