Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I have read that the ice sheets of Antartica are melting at an alarming rate even faster then the scientists had knowledge of.

The most detailed satellite information available shows that ice sheets in Greenland and western Antarctica are shrinking faster than scientists thought and in some places are already in runaway melt mode, a new study found.

"Dynamic thinning of Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheet ocean margins is more sensitive, pervasive, enduring and important than previously realized," researchers wrote in the paper published online Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature.

Using 50 million laser readings from a NASA satellite, scientists for the first time calculated changes in the height of the vulnerable but massive ice sheets and found them especially worse at their edges. That's where warmer water eats away from below. In some parts of Antarctica, ice sheets have been losing 30 feet a year in thickness since 2003, according to the study.