Thursday, July 2, 2015

Alaskan Glaciers are Melting and Adding to Sea Level Rise

In Alaska unprecedented heat is melting glaciers and causing sea levels to rise. According to a new study the amount of water from melting glaciers could cover the entire state of Alaska in a foot of water every seven years. This is the finding of the authors of a study called "Surface melt dominates Alaska glacier mass balance," published in the peer-reviewed Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

Alaskan glaciers have lost 75 billion metric tons of ice every year from 1994 through 2013. The Columbia Glacier on its own is releasing 4 billion metric tons of water into the oceans every year. Although Alaska may only have 1 percent of the Earth's glacial ice volume however the state accounted for 33 percent of global ice loss between 2005 and 2010.

Chris Larsen, a research associate professor with the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and lead author of the study suggested that the trend of Alaskan ice melt will continue to drive sea level rise.

"There is a lot of momentum in the system, and Alaska will continue to be a major driver of global sea level change in upcoming decades," he said.

Related
Arctic Sea Ice is Disappearing
Watch the Disintegration of the Largest Glacier Ever Recorded on Film
Implications of Arctic Heat: Less Ice and More Global Warming
The Dramatic Implications of Melting Arctic Sea Ice
Dramatic Sea Level Rise Expected From Faster Melting of Arctic Ice
Melting Canadian Glaciers
Its Official Arctic Sea Ice is at its Lowest Level in Recorded History
Melting Ice Makes Antarctica Ground Zero for Climate Change
Melting Antarctic Ice and Sea Level Rise (Video)
Melting Antarctic Ice is Changing the Earth's Gravitational Field
Graphic: Western Antarctic Ice Cap Passes Irreversible Tipping Point
Antarctic Glaciers Pass the Point of No Return

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