Accelerated melting of glaciers was Chilean scientific fact

View of one of the Patagonian glaciers from space. Illustration of the study's authors

Glaciologists rated Chilean glaciers melting rate over the last several years. The article appeared in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience.

The object of research scientists were glaciers in Patagonia, which, according to current estimates, are responsible for a tenth of the rising waters in the ocean caused by glaciers (growth oceans contributes not only to the melting of continental glaciers — for example, a significant contribution to this process is making thermal expansion of water).

The training objective was to assess the rate of melting of these structures in the past to determine whether this rate is abnormal now. They used data collected by satellite, which allowed them to estimate the line of maximum advance of the glacier.

As a result, it was found that in the period from 1670 Patagonian glaciers lost 500 cubic kilometers of ice. Of them — more than 100 cubic kilometers in the period from 1870 to the present. According to researchers, the rate of melting of glaciers in the past was at least an order of magnitude smaller than the observed today.


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