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April 22, 2005
Antarctic glaciers retreating

Antarctic glaciers retreating
Analysis of more than 2,000 aerial photographs dating from 1940 and more than 100 satellite images from the 1960s by Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and the US Geological Survey show glaciers along the Antarctic Peninsula retreating at an increasingly rapid pace and almost 90 per cent have melted significantly in the past 50 years.

It is unclear, however, whether the increased temperature causing the shrinkage is a natural regional effect or a result of global warming, said the scientists who conducted the study, published this week in the journal Science reports ABCnews.

Scientists worry about the melting of the ice sheets because the extra water may increase sea levels, which in turn could mean more flooding damage to coastal areas during storms.

They calculated that 87 percent of the 244 glaciers going out to sea from the peninsula have retreated during the last 50 years and that the pace of shrinkage has accelerated in the last decade. Until now, scientists were uncertain whether the glaciers were growing or melting.





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