Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rapid retreat of Chile glacier captured in images

Researchers in Chile released a series of time-lapse photos Wednesday showing the dramatic retreat of a glacier in Patagonia.

The Jorge Montt Glacier is shrinking faster than any other in Chile, with its snout retreating 1 kilometer (more than a half mile) between February 2010 and January 2011, glaciologist Andres Rivera said.

Rivera said that global warming is a factor and that the glacier also is melting especially quickly because it partly rests in the waters of a deep fjord.

Researchers presented a video showing the glacier's yearlong retreat through a total of 1,445 time-lapse photos. It's one of various similar projects by researchers around the world documenting the loss of glaciers.

Rivera has studied dozens of glaciers as a researcher at the Center of Scientific Studies in Valdivia, Chile. He said he and his colleagues didn't know how rapidly the glacier was shrinking until they put up two cameras with solar panels to charge the batteries and programmed them to shoot four frames a day. Read More