UN Secretary-General Alarmed by Antarctic Ice Losses


That's a lot of ice.

According to the authors of the study, until 2012, reducing the amount of ice in Antarctica has remained at the level of 76 billion tons per year, but since then, this figure increased to 219 billion tons per year.

Between 1992 and 1997, it was losing ice at an average rate of 49 billion metric tons (49 gigatons) a year. That's an 146-billion-metric-ton leap. In the early 90s, they conducted analysis of the state of the ice cover of Antarctica using satellite imagery. Scientists have always been eyeing the West Antarctic ice sheet as the least stable region of the continent, and a NASA-lead study confirmed that ice losses were accelerating there earlier this year.

"This is the most robust study of the ice mass balance of Antarctica to date", said assessment team co-lead Erik Ivins at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

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The study in Wednesday's journal Nature is part of an global effort to assess vulnerable ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, which are key indicators of climate change.

Ice losses from Antarctica have tripled since 2012, increasing global sea levels by 0.12 inch (3 millimeters) in that timeframe alone, according to a major new worldwide climate assessment funded by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). The highest rise has been across the West Antarctica, where sheets of ice and glaciers are fragile to the hotter temperatures of the ocean.

Changes in the Antarctic ice sheet's contribution to global sea level, 1992 to 2017.

Scientists think that if there's change in the climatic condition any soon then the ice sheets in West Antarctica may collapse with the blink of an eye, resulting to massive rise in the sea level across the world.



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