Glaciers along the Antarctic peninsula are flowing faster in the summer because of a combination of melting snow and warmer ocean waters, say researchers. On average, the glaciers – giant blocks of moving ice – travel at around 1km a year. But a new study has found a seasonal variation to the speed of the ice flow, which increases by up to 22% in summer when temperatures are warmer.
The study gives an insight into the way climate change could affect the behaviour of glaciers and the role they play in raising sea levels. Up to now, study of the rugged Antarctic peninsula has been limited because of the difficulties scientists face getting on to the glaciers to conduct fieldwork. But from space, advances in satellite technology are revealing new insights into the speed at which the glaciers are moving and draining water into the surrounding ocean. Read more at: University of Leeds.