The Amundsen Sea
Sector of West Antarctica is comprised of several glaciers that are prone to instability.
In the study, researchers focused on two glacial ice sheets: one on the Sabrina Coast in East Antarctica and a second in the Amundsen Sea
in West Antarctica.
"Beyond our concept that a glacier would melt that fast!" Helen Amanda Fricker, glaciologist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and her team found that from 1994 to 2012, the amount of ice disappearing from all Antarctic ice shelves, not just the ones in the Amundsen Sea
, increased 12-fold, from six cubic miles to 74 cubic miles per year.
In the Amundsen Sea
, for example, ice shelf thinning of up to 6 meters (nearly 20 feet) per year has accelerated the advance of the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers by as much as 1.5 kilometers (nearly 1 mile) per year.
For this investigation, a total of 92 individuals were included from throughout the sampled range, including 39 from the Western Antarctic Peninsula, 2 from the Bellingshausen Sea, 23 from the Amundsen Sea
, and 28 from the Ross Sea (Fig.
instability, such as in the Amundsen Sea
Embayment which includes
But using airborne radar to make direct measurements along many miles of the grounding lines of three West Antarctic glaciers that flow into a body of water called the Amundsen Sea
Embayment, Khazendar and his colleagues determined that between 2002 and 2009, the glaciers retreated at the fastest speed ever recorded in West Antarctica, melting from the undersides upwards.
The reported behaviour, however, would mean the south-western peninsula sector now has the second biggest input to that contribution behind the large glaciers that drain into the Amundsen Sea
even further to the south and west.
He will have more than just cold to worry about during the final two swims - at the Bay of Whales in the Ross Sea and Peter I Island in the Amundsen Sea
78) although, if it were, it would be projecting north into the Amundsen Sea
(i.e., the South Pacific) rather than towards Cape Horn.
In Antarctica, some of the fastest thinning glaciers are in West Antarctica (Amundsen Sea
Embayment) where Pine Island Glacier and neighbouring Smith and Thwaites Glacier are thinning by up to 9 metres per year.