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Pattaya Daily News

29 March 2007 :: 14:03:39 pm 31014

Melting Of Large Portion Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Raises Scientific Concern

Recent Satellite evidence has shown that a huge portion of the Antarctic ice sheet is in the process of melting, polar ice scientific gurus revealed on Wednesday, March 29th. The area of scrutiny is Amundsen Sea Embayment, a 2 mile thick ice-shelf, which holds enough water to increase world sea levels by six meters, (20 feet).
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Most of the evidence has come from satellite images, but as yet precise details on exactly how much ice has disappeared are not available because data is difficult to obtain on the remote ice shelves. However, the scientists reporting from a conference of U.S. and European polar ice experts at the University of Texas in Austin, are deeply concerned and surprised at the rapidity of the melt-rate.

The cause of such a rapid melt is specifically due to changing winds around Antarctica causing warmer waters to flow beneath the ice shelves, the scientists reported. The wind change, they said, seemed to be due to several factors, including global warming, ozone depletion in the atmosphere and natural variability. However, further study was necessary to determine how fast and how much increase in the oceans’ water level would occur. Although ice-depletion was also occurring elsewhere on the continent, none is as fast or as extensive as in the Amundsen Sea Embayment.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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