News FocusAMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION

Worry But Don't Panic Over Glacial Losses

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Science  14 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6014, pp. 143
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6014.143-a

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Summary

Glaciers are suddenly galloping to the sea in Greenland and the "weak underbelly" of Antarctic ice is beginning to give way, but a couple of glaciologists at the meeting say that at least in the short term, the situation, while bad, is not always quite as bad as it looks. A study of the forces acting on the Jakobshavn Glacier of southern Greenland shows that Jakobshavn is accelerating and thus increasing the rate of sea level rise—plenty of cause for worry—but the researchers say that Jakobshavn is not totally off its leash.