Austrian glaciers losing 1 meter in thickness each year: study

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-10 01:37:49|Editor: yan
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VIENNA, May 9 (Xinhua) -- A newly-developed measurement method has revealed that Austria's glaciers are losing about a meter of thickness every year, the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) revealed on Thursday.

OeAW researcher Kay Helfricht said the amount of ice in a glacier was previously estimated primarily based on the glacier's total surface area.

The new method aimed to measure the ice mass at different points of the glacier, by using glacier boundaries and altitude models based on aerial photographs, as well as laser scanned images.

These were combined with ice thickness measurements taken at 58 Austrian glaciers, to develop a calculation model that could realistically determine ice thickness for all glaciers in Austria under their respective topographical conditions.

The resulting calculation method has not only confirmed that glacial retreat has occurred, but that Austria's glaciers lost one-fifth of their ice mass between 2006 and 2016, and that the average loss of glacial ice is about one meter in thickness per year.

The full results of the research have been published in the journal "Frontiers in Earth Science".