According to the British Antarctic Survey, researchers have found that the summer melt season of the Antarctic Peninsula has been getting longer over the past 60 years. The increased melt season has been associated with rising sea levels and the depletion of Antarctica’s ice shelves.
Researchers used data from 30 weather stations on the peninsula and satellite data from a scatterometer, which detects the presence of meltwater, to confirm the relationship between increased temperatures and the depletion of ice shelves in the region. Data shows that temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula have increased by 3 degrees Celsius since the 1950s—three times the global average.
The longer summer melt season could have significant ramifications in hastening and intensifying the effects of global climate change.
Image: The Larsen Ice Shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula (Credit: Jim Yungel/NASA)