Inland Thinning of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica

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Science  02 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5505, pp. 862-864
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5505.862

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The Pine Island Glacier (PIG) transports 69 cubic kilometers of ice each year from ∼10% of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). It is possible that a retreat of the PIG may accelerate ice discharge from the WAIS interior. Satellite altimetry and interferometry show that the grounded PIG thinned by up to 1.6 meters per year between 1992 and 1999, affecting 150 kilometers of the inland glacier. The thinning cannot be explained by short-term variability in accumulation and must result from glacier dynamics.

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