Getting warmer and faster: Antarctic glaciers

British research shows glaciers moving faster than ever.

Glaciers not glacial anymore British Antarctic Survey

Time to re-write one little section in my Webster's Dictionary. That's an old-time thing, ink on paper, you remember? It gives the fifth definition of "glacial" as "as slow as the movement of a glacier." Need to change that to read "fast" in the future.

British researchers have found the movement of Antarctic's glaciers is speeding up. During the decade ending in 2003, these southern glaciers speed up by 12 percent. That means these huge rivers of ice are speeding toward the ocean. There three things can happen: the ice melts, it merges into an ice shelf or sloughs off to become a free-floating iceberg.

Ice heads down to the sea British Antarctic Survey
Antarctic is an enormous storehouse of water. This data on glacial speed not only redefines a word, it'll bring adjustments in the projections about global warming and the rise of sea levels.

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    Harry Fuller escaped from television work to be executive editor at CNET News.com.

     

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