NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

RETREATING GLACIERS

September 3, 2004

Glaciers are melting faster than before in some regions from the Arctic to the Alps but others are getting bigger, say scientists.

They are unable to crack the conundrum of why certain glaciers may be more resilient to global warming, though one reason could be that melting sea ice falls back to earth as snow and so causes some of the ice mountains to grow.

  • A glacier in western Norway grew 400 meters in the late 1990s and has just recently begun to retreat.
  • While some glaciers in Alaska are melting, others around the Arctic are stable.
  • Frozen water on Greenland and Antarctica will unlikely melt much over the century.

Jeffrey Kargel of the U.S. Geological Survey told a seminar on glaciers in Oslo, Norway that it is too early to say if glacier melting is accelerating worldwide compared to U.N. forecasts in 2001. In some areas it is, he says, but the picture is mixed.

Source: "As Some Glaciers Shrink, Others Endure," CNN.com, August 23, 2004.

 

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