New Zealand’s glaciers were continuing to lose significant ice mass, finds the latest snowline survey by New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).
NIWA’s snow and ice scientist Jordy Hendrikx said it shows the impact of global warming, Radio New Zealand reported on Monday.
For the annual survey, which has been going since 1977, pictures are taken from planes of 50 glaciers in the Southern Alps and the Kaikoura range.
According to this year’s survey, between April 2008 and March 2009, the snowline was an average of about 95 meters above where it would need to be to keep the ice mass constant.
Overall, since 1976, Mr. Hendrikx said, an estimated 90 percent of ice loss from glaciers can be attributed to down-wasting (ice melts from the top surface of a glacial trunk) and lake calving ( ice melting at the foot of glaciers and forming lakes).