Huge part of Antarc­tica thawed in ’05

Los Angeles Times - - The World -

Vast ar­eas of Antarc­tica melted in 2005 when tem­per­a­tures rose for a week, in a process that may ac­cel­er­ate in­vis­i­ble melt­ing deep be­neath the sur­face, NASA said this week.

An anal­y­sis of satel­lite data showed that an area the size of Cal­i­for­nia melted and then re­froze — the most sig­nif­i­cant thaw­ing in 30 years. Son Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propul­sion Lab­o­ra­tory in La Cañada Flin­tridge and Kon­rad St­ef­fen of the Univer­sity of Colorado at Boul­der found ev­i­dence of melt­ing in sev­eral ar­eas, in­clud­ing high el­e­va­tions and far in­land, in Jan­uary 2005, when tem­per­a­tures got as high as 41 de­grees. Snowmelt could pen­e­trate to the bot­tom of ice sheets, “caus­ing the ice mass to move to­ward the ocean faster, in­creas­ing sea level,” St­ef­fen said on NASA’s web­site.

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