Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dire prediction for giant Patagonian glacier

MSN: Scientists are warning that a giant glacier in Patagonia could disappear within 60 years. Experts from the Argentine government science agency Conicet said the Viedma Glacier, located in the southern province of Santa Cruz, has retreated by one kilometre since 1930.

The Viedma and the nearby Upsala glacier are part of the huge South Patagonian Ice Field, the third largest expanse of continental ice after Greenland and Antarctica. Scientists describe glaciers as the world's "thermometers" because they are very sensitive to changes in the climate. It is believed that glacial melting, along with the expansion of water in warmer temperatures, could lead to rising sea levels. The UN Climate Panel estimates that seas will rise by 18-59cms by 2100 because of global warming.

Photo of the Perito Merino Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina, by Luca Galuzzi,, from Wikimedia Commons.

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