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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Glacier movement no longer glacial

From the LA Times: NASA and other scientists tracking Greenland's glaciers have found that they are moving and disappearing much faster than predicted, as rising temperatures are working deep into the ice in unanticipated ways.
Should all of the ice sheet ever thaw, the meltwater could raise sea level 21 feet and swamp the world's coastal cities, home to a billion people. It would cause higher tides, generate more powerful storm surges and, by altering ocean currents, drastically disrupt the global climate.

Climate experts have started to worry that the ice cap is disappearing in ways that computer models had not predicted.

By all accounts, the glaciers of Greenland are melting twice as fast as they were five years ago, even as the ice sheets of Antarctica the world's largest reservoir of fresh water also are shrinking, researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Kansas reported in February.