Ice in parts of the Antarctic Peninsula is now melting during the summer faster than at any time in the last thousand years, increasing 10 times in the past 600 years, with the most marked acceleration occurring since 1960, scientists say, reports Paul Brown at the Climate News Network. Study of layers in an ice core showed periods when summer snow on the ice cap thawed and then refroze. By measuring the thickness of these melt layers the scientists were able to examine how the history of melting compared with changes in temperature at the ice core site over the last thousand years, which showed the overall and recent acceleration of melting. This new climate reconstruction clears up the debate on how Antarctica will react to global warming. Their findings, published online in the journal Nature Geoscience, explains a series of unexpected sudden collapses of ice shelves over the last 20 years. This could lead to further large dramatic losses of ice from the peninsula, which in turn will add to sea level rise.
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Antarctic Peninsula’s thaw speeds up April 14, 2013 The Antarctic Peninsula is now seeing a faster summer melting of ice in some areas than for a thousand years, British and French scientists have found, with the last 60 years seeing the fastest thaw. http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2013/04/antarctic-peninsulas-thaw-speeds-up/