Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Runaway melt" on Antarctica

A "runaway melt" on Antarctica? That is what a new study says, using the best satellite information available.


"Dynamic thinning of Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheet ocean margins is more sensitive, pervasive, enduring and important than previously realized," researchers wrote in the paper published online Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature.
The study said that the melting effect is only getting worse.
In parts of Antarctica, the yearly rate of thinning from 2003 to 2007 is 50 percent higher than it was from 1995 to 2003.

These new measurements confirm what some of the more pessimistic scientists thought: The melting along the crucial edges of the two major ice sheets is accelerating and is in a self-feeding loop. The more the ice melts, the more water surrounds and eats away at the remaining ice.
The cause? That would be global warming. Every time a new study comes out about the state of ice sheets around the world, the diagnosis is worse. Clearly the problem is not getting any better any time soon, especially not without action from our leaders.

This week at the G-20 in Pittsburgh, groundwork can be laid for an agreement to be made in December in Copenhagen. But before that we have a chance to take the lead right here in America.

Soon the Senate will consider comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation and, as this study shows, time is running out. We can help reduce global warming pollution, while helping to create millions of jobs and strengthening our economy.

Without action we will be running away too - from the coast.

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