10/23/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Climate Science Aided By Rubber Ducks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - To help figure out what's happening inside the fastest-moving Greenland glacier, a U.S. rocket scientist sent 90 rubber ducks into the ice, hoping someone finds them if they emerge in Baffin Bay.

The common yellow plastic bath toys are one part of a sophisticated experiment to determine why glaciers speed up in the summer in their march to the sea, said Alberto Behar of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

The Jakobshavn Glacier is very likely the source of the iceberg that sank the Titanic in 1912 and researchers focus on it because it discharges nearly 7 percent of all the ice coming off Greenland. As the planet warms, its melting ice sheet could make oceans rise this century.

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