This article discusses just how bad ice loss is occurring in Antarctica – the Ice Sheet has lost 3 trillion tons in 25 years.
Anthropogenic climate change is causing innumerable changes to our planet. It can be disorienting, as every day brings news of a new extinction or climate change-related threat, and if you’re not a scientist it can be hard to know what to do about it. An interdisciplinary group of researchers has teamed up to try to change that—by helping people picture the future of Antarctica.
Their new paper, published today in Nature, compares two possible futures for Antarctica. In one, the continent is radically different and anthropogenic climate change is having massive, poorly-controlled impacts. In the other, climate change and overpopulation are still factors, but Antarctica itself is in much better shape, with positive consequences for the world. It relies on a combination of existing science and projections and the peer-reviewed expert knowledge of its authors, who are respected Antarctica scholars in disciplines ranging from environmental science to glaciology.
Currently, Antarctica is one of the most remote and tightly-regulated places on Earth, and has been since the late 1950s, when The Antarctic Treaty was signed. There’s a moratorium on natural resources exploration there, and while there is fishing in the Southern Ocean, it is regulated by a commission that meets annually to check on conservation goals. Tourism is also tightly controlled, as is scientific research.