A Satellite Lets Scientists See Antarctica’s Melting Like Never Before
By Kendra Pierre-Louis, Henry Fountain and Denise Lu.
New data from space is providing the most precise picture yet of Antarctica’s ice, where it is accumulating most quickly and disappearing at the fastest rate, and how the changes could contribute to rising sea levels.
The information, in a paper published on Thursday in the journal Science, will help researchers better understand the largest driver of ice loss in Antarctica, the thinning of floating ice shelves that allows more ice to flow from the interior to the ocean, and how that will contribute to rising sea levels. Researchers have known for a long time that, while the continent is losing mass over all as the climate changes, the change is uneven. It is gaining more ice in some areas, like parts of East Antarctica, and losing it quickly in others, in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula.
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