What is currently happening to the glaciers in Antarctica?

Asked by Julianna

Most of the glaciers in Antarctica are currently shrinking. Around 87 % of the glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula are in recession, and glaciers at the northern end of the Antarctic Peninsula are currently shrinking rapidly. You can read more about this in this Blog Post.

In West Antarctica, Pine Island Glacier (PIG) is shrinking and thinning and accelerating, and this is a concern as it is grounded well below sea level. PIG drains much of West Antarctica, and rapid change here has implications for marine ice sheet instability.

Pritchard and Vaughan (2009) note that there is some thickening in the Siple Coast ice streams, and there is less change in many of the glaciers in East Antarctica. However, ice shelves around East Antarctica are thinning and receding, which may cause rapid glacier acceleration and recession if they collapse.

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