Wind, warmer water driving Antarctica ice loss

December 15, 2010

(AP) -- West Antarctica has been losing ice and scientists now think they know why.

New satellite images and airborne data point to wind and water as the main culprits. Stronger winds lift warmer water onto the shelf, leading to the acceleration of ice loss.

Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, says the phenomenon has led to major ice thinning in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Pine Island Glacier, the biggest of the western .

Understanding what's driving the Antarctic ice loss will help scientists better predict future .

The findings were presented Wednesday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

Explore further: Antarctic glaciers accelerating in response to 2002 ice sheet collapse


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