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Fast recession of a west antarctic glacier

Abstract

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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