DemosNews: Global Warming - Literally a Slippery Slope
Global Warming - Literally a Slippery Slope
By: James Eberhart

Media attention has focused much of late on the disappearance of the world’s glaciers. Smaller than ice sheets, glaciers melt more easily, and are thought by some scientists to adumbrate the future of earth’s polar ice caps.
While most media suggest that glaciers are vanishing because rising temperatures are melting glacial ice, this is only half the story. Rising temperatures melt the glacial surface, creating rivulets and streams. Over time, ice waterfalls known as ‘moulins’ form tubular channels in the ice, carrying the water downward to the bedrock below the glacier.
Glaciers, pulled by earth’s gravity, perpetually flow to lower altitudes. For a glacier to increase in size, snow must accumulate at high altitudes at a faster rate than it melts at lower altitudes. The meltwater that reaches bedrock by means of moulins actually lubricates the glacial flow, allowing the ice mass to move more quickly to lower altitudes. Moulins thus constitute a positive feedback whereby they amplify the affects of rising temperatures.

© 2022 James Eberhart of DemosNews

June 4, 2007 at 6:47pm
DemosRating: 4.64
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Genre: Science (Nature)
Type: Critical
Tags: Global, Warming, Glacier, Ice,

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