Friday, March 03, 2006

Study: Up to 152 cubic kilometres of Antarctic ice melt every year

Study: Up to 152 cubic kilometres of Antarctic ice melt every year: "Washington - Up to 152 cubic kilometres of Antarctic ice have melted every year since 2002 due to climate change, new research by US scientists using satellite technology has shown.

The drastic melting on Antarctic's western ice caps has resulted in a global rise of sea levels of some 0.4 millimetres every year, with a margin of error of 0.2 millimetres, the researchers of Colorado University at Boulder wrote in a study published Thursday in the online issue of Science Express.

These finding were 'probably a good indicator of the changing climatic conditions' in the Antarctic, said lead researcher Isabella Velicogna, who is also affiliated with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The scientists used data collected by two satellites, launched by NASA and Germany in 2002, which sense subtle variation's in Earth's gravity field caused by regional changes in the planet's mass.

The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had predicted an opposite scenario in 2001. The committee of experts on climate change called together by the UN and the World Meteorological Organization had argued Antarctica's ice caps would expand due more rainfall in the new millenium."

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