The Patagonian ice caps, located in Argentina and Chile, are the largest in the southern hemisphere after Antarctica and cover about 16,000 square kilometers. Despite their size, they are relatively unknown. A recent study published in the journal ‘Communications Earth & Environment’ by the ‘Nature’ group used geophysical remote sensing methods and satellite imagery to re-estimate the volume of the ice caps. The study found that the ice caps are 40 times larger than all the glaciers in the European Alps and are highly vulnerable to climate change.

Led by Johannes Furst of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, an international research group estimated that the Patagonian ice caps contained 5,351 cubic kilometers of ice as of 2000. Some glaciers in this area reach a thickness of 1,400 meters. The study found that glaciers in the eastern part of the ice cap have retreated significantly in recent years, while others have remained stable. Factors such as the depth of the lake basin affect the rate of melting and retreat of glaciers, with faster retreat in deeper basins.

Glaciers in Patagonia have higher sliding speeds compared to those in

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