“Stable” glaciers in East Antarctica “beginning to melt”

The loss of ice there hints “at widespread changes in the ocean”

Glaciers in East Antarctica have begun to melt which could “reshape coastlines around the world”, NASA scientists have warned.

Satellite imaging has shown that a group of glaciers spanning one-eighth of East Antarctica — long considered more stable than its western neighbour — have begun to lose ice.

“East Antarctica has the potential to reshape coastlines around the world,” NASA said in a blog post on Monday.

The loss of ice there, it added, hints “at widespread changes in the ocean”.

The research, led by NASA glaciologist Catherine Walker, was conducted using new maps of ice velocity and height surface elevation created as part of a project to track the movement of the world’s ice.

It found that the Totten Glacier — which contains enough ice to raise sea levels by at least 11 feet (3.3 meters) — and several smaller nearby glaciers are losing ice because of “warming ocean waters”.

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