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Antarctica Melting Fast

Agence France-Presse - The worst fears of environmentalists are coming true:Scientists have issued a new warning about the effects ofclimate change on Antarctica, saying that more than 200glaciers are melting because of unusually high temperatures.Using aerial photos dating back to the 1940s and more recentsatellite images, scientists from the British AntarcticSurvey (BAS) have discovered just how much these ice shelveshave melted over the last 50 years, as temperatures haverisen by around 3? degrees F. In a study published in the respected journal Science, theseresearchers explain that until the mid-1950s, most of theglaciers got bigger. During the decade after that, most ofthem were stable, but since then, they've been shrinking.During the past five years, the pace of this shrinkage hasaccelerated.

But climate change may not be the only cause of this massmeltdown, which healted during the 1980s, despite continuingwarming. Other important reasons for the melt could includewarming ocean temperatures, which may also be caused byglobal warming, but scientists haven't yet figured outexactly how this works.

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