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Department of Geography

General News Headlines

East Antarctic Ice Sheet could be more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought

(29 August 2013)

The world's largest ice sheet could be more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than previously thought, according to new research from Durham University.

A team from the department used declassified spy satellite imagery to create the first long-term record of changes in the terminus of outlet glaciers - where they meet the sea - along 5,400km of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet’s coastline. The imagery covered almost half a century from 1963 to 2012.

The researchers said this suggested that large parts of the ice sheet, which reaches thicknesses of more than 4km, could be more susceptible to changes in air temperatures and sea-ice than was originally believed.

This research formed part of a Masters thesis by Bertie Miles, supervised by Dr Chris Stokes & Dr Andreas Vieli, and was published in the journal Nature.

The research has been reported in various media sources, including the BBC News website.

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