Some new studies have shown that Earth’s ice is melting very fast, which is bad news for global sea levels.
The study was led by Eric Rignot from the University of California and it talks about the details of ice and snow ever since 1979. Antarctica’s crucial ice sheet keeps melting, and it has been melting for 39 years now, but that’s not all. It’s melting entirely, and not in just some places.
Researchers found out that the rate of ice loss is not consistent, as ice disappears faster and faster with each decade. In Antarctica, for example, ice loss has increased from 40 gigatons every year from 1979 to 1990, to 252 gigatons each year, from 2009 to 2017. That’s a 6-fold increase. And this rate has been accelerating much more in recent decades, almost up to 280% in the second half of the last 40 years, if we are to compare it to the first half.
There’s no balance in Antarctica anymore
It’s really important to see how much seas will rise all over the world, as global warming makes its presence felt. The continent has the majority of the planet’s ice and if it melts, then the average sea level will rise about 57.2 meters – that’s 188 feet.
The researchers looked at 176 different basins all around Antarctica, especially in those places in which ice drains into the ocean. They have found out the rate at which the ice is melting – especially in places where it’s warm, and it’s salty water. This is where the edges of the ice sheets are intruded, and this is where the ice shelves are getting melt a lot.
There’s this imbalance between replenishing snowfall and melting ice, which means that the continent is totally out of balance and that the sea levels increase at a dangerous rate.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.