Antarctica Is Losing Insane Amount of Ice. Nothing About This Is Good.

Live Science | 6/13/2018 | Staff
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Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tons of ice in the past 25 years, and that ice loss has accelerated rapidly over the last five years.

In a new study, the most comprehensive to date of the continent's icy status, an international group of 84 researchers analyzed data from multiple satellite surveys, from 1992 to 2017.

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Millimeters of sea level rise may not sound like much, but previous surveys suggested that Antarctica's massive ice sheets likely wouldn't be affected by climate change at all. The new findings hint that the continent's ice cover may not be as resistant to warming as once thought, and present a very different picture of Antarctica's potential contributions to a rising ocean: Consider that if all of Antarctica's ice melted, the resulting water could elevate sea levels by about 190 feet (58 meters), the researchers reported.

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Their study, published online today (June 13) in the journal Nature Research, is one of five Antarctica reports released simultaneously. Together, the studies evaluate past and present conditions in Antarctica to determine the impact of climate change and human activity on the continent, and to present strategies for the future of its ecology and geology.

For the new study, the scientists combined data from three types of satellite measurements to track changes in ice over time, study co-author Andrew Shepherd, a professor of Earth observation with the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds in the U.K., told Live Science.

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Satellites that scanned Antarctic ice with altimeters gathered evidence about its volume; another type of satellite measurement tracked the speed of glacial flow into the ocean; and a third type of observation calculated the gravity of land masses around the planet, weighing the...
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