State of balance of the ice sheet in the Antarctic Peninsula

first_imgData from ice rises on the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula can be interpreted as showing that the ice is thinning at rates of up 0.5 m a−1. However, a level line between two nunataks in Palmer Land showed no change in surface elevation over a period of 5 a. Melt rates on George VI Ice Shelf vary with position and may indicate that parts of the ice shelf are thickening at the rate of several m a−1, presumably in response to a higher accumulation rate over the peninsula a few hundred years ago. A small valley glacier, Spartan Glacier, is wasting away at about 0.27 m a−1. Ice fronts on both east and west coasts of the peninsula have been retreating for the last 30 a. It seems that there is general glacier recession in response to a wanner climate and decreased snowfall for at least the last 30 a, while parts of the peninsula are still thickening in response to a high accumulation rate several hundred years ago.last_img read more