We’ve seen some truly alarming reports on the state of the ice in Antarctica in recent months, but maybe none of them have been quite so scary as the one released by researchers a few days back. A new report, published in Nature, indicates that the loss of ice on the frozen continent is far more than we expected and it is accelerating.
The report is from a study that looked at data between 1992 and 2017 and is the work of dozens of researchers who have been studying the impact of climate change on the Antarctic. Their findings indicate that over that span of time, more than three trillion tons of ice have melted there, pouring into the sea and starting what could be an irreversible trend in terms of ocean levels rising. Worse yet, the loss of ice is speeding up at an unprecedented rate, with more than 200 billion tons now disappearing on an annual basis.
Andrew Shepherd, a cryospheric scientist who was instrumental in putting this study together says, “That the rate of ice loss is now three times faster than it was prior to 2012, when we last looked. The longer term 25-year signal is now one of clearly increasing losses in most calendar years.”
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