This article discusses the rapid increase in glaciers melting in Antarctica. Global warming has already cost the continent 2.7 trillion tons of mass.
Climate change has not been kind to Antarctica. According to a comprehensive new study, global warming has already bled the frigid continent, which is larger than Europe, of about 2.7 trillion tons of ice. This enormous amount of ice has already raised global sea levels by as much as a centimeter.
This outflow seems to be increasing: Almost half of all losses have occurred in just the last five years. And the continent is hemorrhaging that mass in a way that will lead to especially high sea levels on the East Coast of the United States.
“The continent is causing sea levels to rise faster today than at any time in the past 25 years,” said Andrew Shepherd, a leader of the new study and a professor of Earth observation at the University of Leeds, in a statement.
“If you take the big picture, when we compared before and after 2012, there was a three-times increase in the amount of melting,” said Beata Csatho, an author of the paper and a professor of geophysics at the University at Buffalo.
The results, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, present what is generally considered to be highest-quality census of the world’s glaciers and ice sheets. Written by 84 scientists across 44 different institutions, including NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the paper combines several different modes of measurement to produce one consensus result.