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Science. 1998 Jul 24;281(5376):549-51.

Fast recession of a west antarctic glacier

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  • 1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, MS 300-235, Pasadena, CA 91109-8099, USA. E-mail: eric@adelie.jpl.nasa. gov.


Satellite radar interferometry observations of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, reveal that the glacier hinge-line position retreated 1.2 +/- 0.3 kilometers per year between 1992 and 1996, which in turn implies that the ice thinned by 3.5 +/- 0.9 meters per year. The fast recession of Pine Island Glacier, predicted to be a possible trigger for the disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is attributed to enhanced basal melting of the glacier floating tongue by warm ocean waters.

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