Warm ocean currents are main cause of Antarctica melting

By on April 30, 2012

A new study based on measurements from NASA’s Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) shows that warm ocean currents flowing under nearly half the ice shelves in Antarctica are the main cause of ice loss on the continent. ICESat used a laser to take surface height measurements of ice shelves and accounted for normal snow accumulation and compaction. The laser measurements prove to be more accurate than radar measurements.

Scientists have found that changes in wind direction due to climate change have also changed ocean current directions, pushing warm water beneath ice shelves. The research can be applied to glacial melting as well.

Read more at NASA.gov

Image credit: NASA/Goddard CGI Lab

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