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Polar ice caps shrinking slower than predicted

Posted on Saturday, September 11 2010 @ 12:55:40 CEST by

DailyTech jokes polar ice loss estimates are now shrinking faster than icecaps themselves, as a new study provides evidence that glacial ice loss is less than half of previously published estimates, because earlier studies failed to account the rebounding of the Earth's crust at the end of an Ice Age:
According to the new study, over the last several years Greenland shed roughly 104±23 gigatons (billions tons) annually, and 64±32 gigatonnes from West Antarctica, according to an international team of climatologist led by Bert Vermeersen of Delft Technical University, in the Netherlands. Those estimates are less than half of previously published estimates of ice loss.

It goes on to state that each year sea levels are rising by approximately three-millimeters (0.2 inch), up substantially from 1.8mm (0.07 inches) per year in the 1970s.

The team says that past estimates badly missed the target as they failed to account for a phenomena called glacial isostatic adjustment. Glacial isostatic adjustment is a term for the rebounding of the Earth's crust that occurs at the end of an Ice Age. When the weight of the ice on the land is released, the land pushes minutely upwards changing the amount of sea level rise, and even the amount of ice loss itself.



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