As global ice dams begin to weaken due to warming temperatures, a new study suggests that prior attempts to evaluate the mass of the huge floating ice shelves that line the Antarctic ice sheet may have overestimated their thickness.

The research, recently published in the Journal of Glaciology, is the first large-scale study of its kind to compare ice shelf thickness data from ice-penetrating radar measurements to thickness data estimated from contemporary surface elevation measurements.

By juxtaposing vast datasets of 20 of the 300 total separate ice shelf systems that surround about 75% of the Antarctic ice sheet, researchers from The Ohio State University found that on average, the Antarctic ice shelves are nearly 6% thinner than previous studies had assumed, a difference of about 17 meters. This may seem like a small shift in scale, but typical ice shelves can be anywhere from 50 to 600 meters thick. Read more at: Ohio State University

Source: ENN

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