UN Secretary-General Alarmed by Antarctic Ice Losses

Rodiano Bonacci
Giugno 20, 2018

Between 1992 and 2017, the Antarctic ice sheet shed roughly 3 trillion metric tons of ice-causing the global average sea level to rise almost a third of an inch (7.6 millimeters). "The Outlook for the future differs from what we previously thought", says Andrew shepherd of Leeds University in the United Kingdom, one of the 84 scholars who participated in the study.

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). "We were unable to detect any acceleration", says shepherd.

While many glaciologists are sceptical about the study in 2016, no one knows exactly how quickly will increase the sea.

Since 1989, more than 150 calculations of the loss of Antarctic ice mass have been made. And the only way to test these models is to compare their predictions with what actually happens. And 40% of that loss is responsible between the years of 2012 and 2017, as per the new study released.

As we've noted before, the West Antarctic ice sheet is of particular concern because, like a building that stands on an uneven foundation, it is inherently unstable, making it especially vulnerable to the warming climate. Their report explains how ice shelf thinning and collapse have triggered an increase in the continent's contribution to sea level rise.

"Data from these missions will help scientists connect the environmental drivers of change with the mechanisms of ice loss to improve our projections of sea level rise in the coming decades", Wagner said.

The current monitoring, as well as the balance on its mass losses and gains, will allow estimating the possible future changes of this continent.

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