Mar 14, 2017 04:57 AM EDT
NASA released new images of the New Zealand glaciers and it is retreating. The country has more or less 3,000 glaciers and it is slowly diminishing since the 1890s. Most of the glaciers are found at the Southern Alps on the South Island of the said country.
NASA and United States Geological Survey Landsat took an image way back on Jan. 12, 1990. It shows that the area measures at 39 by 46 kilometers and is covered with white. The Muller, Hooker, and Tasman glaciers are included in the area of New Zealand's South Island.
Going back to 2017, using the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) by NASA the captures images of the area turned out to be gray. The images, which were taken last Jan. 29, have revealed that it has less snow over and larger terminal lakes.
NASA mentioned in a statement the "Notice the larger terminal lakes, the retreat of the ice-free of moraine cover. The higher moraine walls due to ice thinning."
The Team Leader of the ASTER Science, Michael Abrams said in an interview the that there are several causes for the glaciers to retreat. "The primary cause is that melting surpasses accumulation of snow. This change in the precipitation/melting budget can be a local weather condition or a more regional weather change," according to Yahoo New Zealand.
Abrams added that the New Zealand glaciers are retreating at a slower pace compared to the other parts of the world. As for the future of the glaciers, he said that it is hard to predict when or what will happen. He added that "though the recent past behavior suggests we will see retreat for some unknown future time" or the glaciers could stop to retreat.
The current image that was captured by ASTER is one of the five Earth-observing instruments on Terra which is a satellite that was launched back in 1999. It has a Via spatial resolution data in 14 bands, ASTER monitors the planet's changing surface, from the visible thermal infrared wavelengths, such as the glacial advances and retreats, coral reef degradation, volcanoes and the thermal pollution and surface heat balance.
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