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Antarctica ice melt rate triples in five years


Posted on Sunday, 17 June, 2018 | Comment icon 14 comments

The rapid melting will lead to a considerable rise in sea level. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Liam Quinn
New research has revealed that Antarctica is melting three times faster than previously thought.
Things are not looking good for our planet's polar caps, that is, at least, according to a recent study indicating that Antarctica has been losing more than 200 billion tons of ice every year.

The melt rate is thought to have increased by three-hundred percent over the last five years and if this trend continues, sea levels are expected to rise by up to 25cm by the year 2070.

The study claims to be the most ambitious and comprehensive to date, pooling various sources of satellite data and involving 84 scientists from 44 international organizations.

"We can see where the ice melting is happening, and it's in West Antarctica - and that tells us why it's happening, because we know that the ocean in West Antarctica is too warm," said study leader Professor Andrew Shepherd from Leeds University.

"This is too much for the ice to resist, and the ice is melting away and causing this sea level rise... It tells us that the ice sheet isn't impervious to the effects of climate change as we once thought it might be, and that's a wake-up call."

Source: Wired.co.uk | Comments (14)

Tags: Antarctica

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Twin on 18 June, 2018, 2:38
I know 25 cm is a lot of water, but .5 cm/year doesn't seem to scare me like it probably should.
Comment icon #6 Posted by kennp on 18 June, 2018, 2:48
25 cm is less than a foot... imagine sea levels rising less than 12 inches in the next 52 years. oh the horror !! thats a total waste of time and money and completely laughable.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Troublehalf on 18 June, 2018, 3:14
I was always under the impression that the issue wasn't rising water levels per se (though lowland countries like Netherlands might disagree, plus Pacific Islands like Tuvalu) but the effect on the natural cycle. Let us say this is all 100% natural and a part of a cycle. This doesn't change the fact it affects us. If humanity didn't exist, it wouldn't be much of a problem; but we do. So, what is the issue? As far as I can remember, the issue was the Gulf Stream was reliant on the salt levels being a certain level. The dilution of the salt levels by fresh water entering the oceans could cause t... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by Doug1o29 on 18 June, 2018, 12:39
I guess you haven't studied the subject then? Doug
Comment icon #9 Posted by TripGun on 18 June, 2018, 14:01
I think it is being slightly sensationalized. 
Comment icon #10 Posted by Doug1o29 on 18 June, 2018, 19:07
Of course.  The topic sells magazines, newspapers and TV commercials.  There's quite an incentive to hype it.  It wouldn't hurt at all if the media actually took a little time to learn what they're talking about. Doug
Comment icon #11 Posted by openozy on 24 June, 2018, 12:32
I cant see how money comes into it when talking about our planet's well being.I don't think people know how fragile life is here.
Comment icon #12 Posted by lost_shaman on 24 June, 2018, 13:21
Lets see... genetic studies seem to suggest life on Earth was present by no later than 4.1 billion years ago. Earth is about 4.6 billion years old. Earth's surface was virtually vaporized by a gigantic roughly head on collision with a proto-planet sized object usually called Theia about 100 million years after the early Earth formed. So life arose within that ~400 million year period after the Moon was formed. After a 4.1 billion year run, I'd suggest life on Earth is not fragile at all but quite robust and resilient. 
Comment icon #13 Posted by ChaosRose on 24 June, 2018, 15:07
I always knew that not only was climate change happening, but it was going to be worse than anyone realized, and faster. That's just the way of things.  Scientists are conservative about what they posit. 
Comment icon #14 Posted by openozy on 24 June, 2018, 23:15
Sounds like a Trump campain.Life may still exist but we won't be part of it,sooner than you think.Natures good at getting rid of plagues.


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