1,600-year-old ice has melted in just 25 years

08.04.2013

The largest ice sheet in the tropics Kuelkayya (Quelccaya), Located in Peru, demonstrates itself to the pace of temperature changes on our planet.


Cusco, Peru. © Enrique Castro-Mendivil | Reuters

Radioisotope dating "outcropping" during the melting of the remains of plants that are covered glacier thousands of years ago in the process of its formation, allow scientists to learn more about the past and present state of the ice field.

Lonnie Thompson (Lonnie G. Thompson) Ohio State University (USA) and his colleagues, who studied for decades Kuelkayya ice sheet, radioisotope dating is allowed with an unusually high for this area of science, precision lock fluctuations in the size of the largest glacier in the tropics.

A few years ago, this group of scientists have reported the discovery in the area of glacier melting plant, whose age was about 4700 years. Within a few years of observations ice sheet melted by 300 meters in depth, revealing the remains of plants whose age is already 6300 years.

The simplest conclusion from these facts is obvious, says Dr. Thompson — the ice builds up over 1600 years old, melted just 25.

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