Scientists say the rapid melting of the Quelccaya ice cap, the world’s largest tropical ice sheet, is the latest sign of global warming.
Rapid melting there is uncovering plants that were locked in a deep freeze when the glacier advanced many thousands of years ago.
Dating of those plants has given scientists an unusually precise method of determining the history of the ice sheet’s margins.
In the new research, a thousand feet of additional melting has exposed plants that laboratory analysis shows to be about 6,300 years old. The simplest interpretation, Dr. Thompson said, is that ice that accumulated over approximately 1,600 years melted back in no more than 25 years.
Via Bert Guevara