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New observations of the Vavilov Ice Cap glacier in Russia's Arctic territory revealed that the huge ice sheet has dramatically increased its speed from about 60 inches per year to about 82 feet per day, according to NASA.
Previously cataloged as traveling some 60 feet a year, new research with satellite images shows that the Arctic glacier has moved more than 80 feet a day, indicating changes in the rate of global warming, according to Weather.com.
Glaciers in extremely cold polar environments have been considered, until now, very stable, usually receive little moisture and rarely move more than a few meters per year.
However, new studies of the Vavilov ice sheet located on the island of the October Revolution in the Kara Sea north of the Siberian regions of Russia by glaciologist Michael Willis of the University of Colorado revealed that the glacier is now It is moving much faster than previously thought, according to NASA.
"The fact that a seemingly stable, cold-based glacier went from 20 meters per year to 20 meters per day was extremely unusual, perhaps unprecedented," Willis was quoted as saying by Weather.com.
"The numbers here are just crazy … Before this happened, as far as I knew, cold-based glaciers just did not do that, they could not do that," the glaciologist added.
Landsat satellite images, compiled since 1985, show that the observations are accurate, according to NASA. Between 2000 and 2013, the Vavilov Ice Cap glacier slowly advanced to about 60 feet per year, but in 2013 the ice river began to accelerate rapidly, doubling the size of the ice sheet over the Kara Sea while at the same time thinning time on earth.
The rapid surge has raised concerns about other high-latitude glaciers on a warming planet, according to Willis.
"This event has forced us to rethink how glaciers work based on the cold," he said.
"It may be that they can respond more quickly to climate warming or changes in their bases than we think," quoted by Metro.co.uk.