A new study has reported that the ice at the Antartic is melting six times faster than it did 40 years back. The speedy and dramatic acceleration of the loss of ice is a clear indication that the humans have caused the climate change. Eric Rignot, the lead author is an ice scientist at the University of California-Irvine and said that the ice has caused global sea levels to rise more than half an inch since the year 1979.
The figure might not sound like much but the amount is surely alarming to the climate scientists as it has shown a preview of the things to come. Rignot has said, “That’s just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. As the Antarctic ice sheet continues to melt away, we expect multi-meter sea level rise from Antarctica in the coming centuries.” The researcher added that in this century alone, a rise of ten foot can be expected. It was also clarified that it is not the floating sea ice around the Antartica that melts and refreezes with the seasons but it is a fresh water ice on the gigantic ice sheets that cover most of the continents.
It has been noticed that since 2009, almost 278 billion tons of ice has melted away from Antartica per year. During the 80s it was losing only 44 billion tons a year. The scientists have combined a satellite data records with the help of computer model outputs to estimate the Antartic ice loss since the year 1979. It was East Antarctica that was considered as stable but is losing 56 billion tons of ice a year. Last year’s study has found little or no loss in East Antarctica.
Rignot added that as the climate is warming and the ozone depletion continues, the melting ice of the continent will contribute to the rise in the sea levels for decades to come.
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