Melting of Antarctic ice sheet raises global concern
Antarctica is losing a lot of ice and that vulnerable areas exist across the East and West AntarcticAuthor : Sunaina
Washington: American and Dutch scientists have found that yearly ice mass loss in Antarctica has increased sixfold in the past 40 years.
The Antarctic ice sheet is shrinking at a rate of 252 billion tons per year, a six-fold increase since the 1980s, which has raised global ocean levels by 14 millimeters since 1979.
On Monday study named "Four decades of Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance from 1979-2017" was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which showed the accelerated melting elevated global sea levels more than 1.2 centimetres during 1979 to 2017.
"I don't want to be alarmist but the weaknesses that researchers have detected in East Antarctica which is home to the largest ice sheet on the planet, deserve deeper study", the Washington Post quoted Rignot as saying. It also added that the places undergoing changes in Antarctica are not limited to just a couple of places.
The mass loss is dominated by enhanced glacier flow in areas closest to warm, subsurface circumpolar deep water, including east Antarctica, which has been a major contributor over the entire period, the report said. In addition, the report said the trend is likely to persist in coming decades as prevailing winds push more warm water toward the continent's glaciers.
"As the Antarctic ice sheet continues to melt away, we expect multi-meter sea level rise from Antarctica in the coming centuries," said the paper's lead author Eric Rignot, professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irvine.
The bottom line is that Antarctica is losing a lot of ice and that vulnerable areas exist across the East and West Antarctic, with few signs of slowing as oceans grow warmer.