NASA: Antarctic ice melting at an alarming rate

I'm meltingggg!

Wait till Al Gore hears this. A team of NASA and university scientists has found clear evidence that warm temperatures melted extensive areas of snow west Antarctica in January 2005, the agency said in a press release. The affected regions encompass a combined area as big as California.Using data from QuikScat, they measured snowfall accumulation and melt in Antarctica and Greenland from July 1999 through July 2005.The melting occurred in multiple distinct regions, including far inland, at high latitudes and at high elevations, where melt had been considered unlikely. Evidence of melting was found up to 560 miles inland from the open ocean, farther than 85 degrees south (about 310 miles from the South Pole) and higher than 6,600 feet above sea level. Maximum air temperatures at the time of the melting were unusually high, reaching more than 41 F in one of the affected areas. They remained above melting for approximately a week, the release stated. Large amounts of Antarctic freshwater flowing into the ocean also could affect ocean salinity, currents and global climate. The findings complement a NASA study released in fall 2006 that found a 14% drop in this perennial ice - ice more than 10-feet thick - in 2005. The lack of replenishment suggests that the decline may continue in the near future.

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