Most of the coastal glaciers along the 1,200-mile Antarctic Peninsula have shrunk as temperatures have risen over the past 50 years, and sea levels may climb if the trend continues, according to a study published today in the journal Science.
About 212 of the 244 glaciers surrounding the peninsula, which stretches north from the southern polar continent toward South America, have retreated as temperatures have risen more than 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1950s, reported the study by Alison Cook and colleagues. The glacial retreat puts &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/379/9863_water.html ' target=_blank>Antarctic ice shelves and sheets at risk, wrote Cook, a geographic data analyst with the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England, and the study's lead author. Inland glaciers that flow from mountains into the ocean and keep continental ice sheets in place are retreating, tells the Washington Temes.
According to the Australian, the researchers, with the British Antarctic and US Geological Surveys, conducted the first comprehensive survey of the peninsula's 244 "marine" glaciers, those flowing from the mountains to the sea. They used data covering the past 61 years.
In the journal Science yesterday, the group reported that 87 per cent of the glaciers they studied had retreated an average of 600m.