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Factoid/2020/08/06

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Blanket of Rock Debris Protects Glaciers from Climate Change

"A new study which provides a global estimate of rock cover on the Earth’s glaciers has revealed that the expanse of rock debris on glaciers, a factor that has been ignored in models of glacier melt and sea level rise, could be significant. ... As glaciers shrink, their surrounding mountain slopes become exposed and eroded rock debris slides down and accumulates on glacier surfaces. This debris forms a protective layer that can be many metres thick, reducing the rate at which the ice below melts. Although the effects of this protective cover are known, it has never been carefully mapped until now, and so has not been included in global glacier models." - Excerpt Northumbria University

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