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Glaciers are accelerating across the Antarctic Peninsula, and combined with the thinning and recession observed across the Antarctic Peninsula, indicates that there is a climatically-driven rise in sea level from this region. Once warm ocean water can access the underside of a glacier, melting from below exacerbates thinning from above, resulting in increased and rapid glacier thinning. Glaciers are thinning and receding in response to warmer temperatures, and thinning glaciers are easier to float.
Pritchard and Vaughan (2007) argue that thinning as a result of a negative mass balance will reduce the effective stress of a glacier’s bed near the margin, reducing basal resistance and increasing sliding. We know that basal melting of ice shelves drives ice sheet loss 25, 279-294 (2005).
This leads to further thinning, floatation, rapid calving and increased glacier recession Recent sea level rise.
W., van den Broeke, M., Weiss, J., Wilhelms, F., Winther, J.
Domack, E., Duran, D., Leventer, A., Ishman, S., Doane, S., Mc Callum, S., Amblas, D., Ring, J., Gilbert, R. Stability of the Larsen B ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula during the Holocene epoch.
Rau, F., Mauz, F., de Angelis, H., Jana, R., Neto, J.
With one particularly warm summer, a thinned ice shelf that is close to its threshold is liable to break up very quickly as meltwater ponding on its surface propagates downwards and initiates iceberg calving by hydrofracture. Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice-shelf history.
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12 glaciers around the Antarctic Peninsula showed near-frontal surface lowering since the 1960s, with higher rates of thinning for glaciers on the north-western Antarctic Peninsula.
Surface lowering ceases at about 400m in altitude across all the glaciers, which may be due to increased high-altitude accumulation. calculate that the Antarctic Ice Sheet as a whole currently contributes about 0.19 mm±0.05 mm per year to global sea level rise, which is largely from the Antarctic Peninsula, the Amundsen Sea sector (including Pine Island Glacier), and which is partly balanced by increased ice accumulation in East Antarctica.