The mountains in Europe are growing taller and melting glaciers are partly responsible, scientists say. Heavy glaciers cause the Earth’s crust to flex inward slightly. When glaciers disappear, the crust springs back and the overlaying mountains are thrust skyward, albeit slowly.
The European Alps have been growing since the end of the last little Ice Age in 1850 when glaciers began shrinking as temperatures warmed, but the rate of uplift has accelerated in recent decades because global warming has sped up the rate of glacier melt, the researchers say.
The conclusion is based on a new computer model that assumes that over timescales of a few years to thousands of years, the surface of the Earth behaves like a very thick fluid.
Live Science, 4/8/06