Global warming link remains elusive
The first comprehensive study of glaciers on Antarctic Peninsula has uncovered widespread glacier retreat and suggests that recent climate change on the peninsula is responsible. Eighty-seven percent of the 244 marine glaciers have retreated over the last 50 years, a new study says. The widespread glacier retreat began at the northern, warmer tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. As atmospheric temperatures rose along the peninsula -- more than 2.5 degrees Celsius in the last 50 years -- the trend of retreat moved south toward colder mainland Antarctica. The paper appears in the 22 April, 2005 issue of the journal Science, published by AAAS the nonprofit science society
The research highlights the possibility that inland glaciers are accelerating their descent to the ocean and that the rate of sea level rise could be affected if ice shelves on the peninsula continue their retreat. "The widespread retreat of the glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula over the last 50 years was largely caused by climate change. Are humans responsible? We cant say for sure, but we are one step closer to answering this important question," said Science author David Vaughan from the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK.
Jessica Lawrence-Hurt | EurekAlert!
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