Sunday, September 30, 2007

Increased melting of the Antarctic Ice Cap

Melting at the South Pole. Image courtesy of NASA

Just as the North Pole has had record ice loss in recent years, the South Pole is also showing the evidence of rising global temperatures:

The top map shows how the area affected by persistent melting has expanded since 1987. The colors represent the first year in which satellites observed persistent melting. Light green shows areas where melting was observed from the beginning, while blue shows areas where melting occurred for the first time more recently.

The bottom map shows the number of days on which melting occurred in 2005, a year of particularly dramatic melting. Snow melted as far inland as 500 miles and at altitudes of 1.2 miles above sea level.

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