Bristol Glaciology Centre School of Geographical Sciences University of Bristol University Road Bristol BS8 1SS UK

73.1 Introduction

The Antarctic Ice Sheet covers an area of some 13 million km2 and is one of the most inhospitable and remote environments on the planet. Sea ice in the Southern Ocean fluctuates in area between about 4 and 20 million km2 over the period of a year. By comparison, the area of the USA is 10 million km2. The number of glaciers is not well known but exceeds 160,000. Monitoring such large, heterogeneous areas, often in remote and inaccessible loca-

also attacks non-glaciated regions nearby. The relative cosmo-genic-isotope loading of rocks around the glacier versus those discharged by the glacier should reveal the balance (Perg et al., 2002).

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