The glaciers in West Antarctica are retreating fast, report claims.
Researchers from the University of California explained that the accelerated glacier melting shows the interaction between ocean conditions and the bedrock beneath the glacier. They believe that this will help them predict the ice loss and sea level rise in Antarctica.
For this study, the researchers examined the Smith, Pope and Kohler glaciers that can be found on the Dotson and Crosson Ice Shelves in Amundsen Sea. They found out that this is the part of the continent with the largest ice decline.
Their findings showed that since 1996 the Smith Glacier moved away from its ground line for about 1.24 miles, while, Pope Glacier moved from its ground line for about 0.31 miles. Kohler Glacier moved away from its ground line for about 1.24 miles since 2011.
Researcher Bernd Scheuchl explained that they are now finding out how the Amundsen Sea contribute to the sea level rise. He explained that they've been observing Amundsen Sea for the past two decades, Science Daily explained.
Through satellites, Scheuchl and his team were able to measure the evolution of the glaciers. The researchers stressed that satellites could determine the stability of the glaciers.
Researchers explained that the glaciers that they observed continue to lose mass. This phenomenon contributes to the rise in sea level, UPI explained.
For this study, researchers used the European Space Agency Sentinel-1 to learn about the changes in the glacier's grounding line. Sentel-1 is a satellite funded 20 years ago, which is now used to study glaciers.
They explained that the Sentinel-1 was a great help for them. They studied the boundary where the glacier retreats from the bedrock and floats in the ocean.
They said that aside from Sentinel-1 they also used other satellites to collect ice sheet data. They combined all this data to get a more detailed recording of the glaciers.