Azara Blog: Antarctic glaciers retreating

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Date published: 2005/04/22

The BBC says:

The glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula are in rapid retreat.

A detailed study reported in Science magazine shows nearly 90% of the ice bodies streaming down from the mountains to the ocean are losing mass.

But the authors - a joint team from the British-Antarctic and US-Geological Surveys - say the big melt could have a number of complex causes.

Although higher air temperatures are a factor, they say, the full picture may go beyond just simple global warming.

"The overall picture is of glaciers retreating in a pattern that suggests the most important factor is atmospheric warming; we can connect the retreat with the observed warming recorded at climate stations along the peninsula," explained Dr David Vaughan, from the British Antarctic Survey (Bas).

"But it's not a perfect fit; there seem to be other factors involved as well - possibly to do with changing ocean currents and temperatures," he told BBC News.

The planet is dyanamic. The planet is supposedly warming up. This is not a hugely surprising report. The real question is what, if any, is the consequence of the glaciers retreating.

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