Warm ocean currents cause majority of ice loss from Antarctica
25 April 2012
Reporting this week (Thursday 26 April) in the journal Nature, an international team of scientists led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has established that warm ocean currents are the dominant cause of recent ice loss from Antarctica.
New techniques have been used to differentiate, for the first time, between the two known causes of melting ice shelves - warm ocean currents attacking the underside, and warm air melting from above. This finding brings scientists a step closer to providing reliable projections of future sea-level rise.
Researchers used 4.5 million measurements made by a laser instrument mounted on NASA's ICESat satellite to map the changing thickness of almost all the floating ice shelves around Antarctica, revealing the pattern of ice-shelf melt across the continent.
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Source: British Antarctic Survey