Sea Level May Rise as Antarctica’s Ice is Melting at an Accelerated Rate

SHARE

A new study claims that the seal levels will soon rise if global warming won’t get under control. In less than 40 years the quantity of ice that is melting has grown up to six times.

The study was elaborated by a mixed team of researchers from the University of California, the Netherlands-based Utrecht University and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

According to the study approximately 40 billion tons of ice disappeared annually between 1979 and 1990. The numbers skyrocketed to a mind-numbing 252 billion tons per year from 2009 to 2017.  The speed at which the ice is melting has also progressed constantly.

The study used information gathered by high-performance satellites and offered by several space agencies from around the world. A rough estimation anticipates a sea level rise of 4 meters (or approximately 12 feet) during the 21th century. While the number doesn’t seem very impressive it is enough to flood most coastal cities.

The western side of Antarctica has always been a sensitive spot that is particularly sensible to climate changes. In the recent years the eastern side is also becoming more vulnerable and many scientists are concerned about the region. The main problem is represented by the fact that the eastern region contains more ice by itself than the western zone and the Antarctic Peninsula combined.

The melting speed is increased by the western wind which is constantly bringing a large quantity of warm subsurface waters. As the water reaches the edges of the ice shelves they start to melt. By following this train of logic it is easy to conclude that a warmer climate leads to warmer water and more ice is melted in the process. The water that comes from the ice is rapidly increasing the overall level of the sea.

If the current trend remains constant the quantity of ice that disappears each year will continue to grow exponentially. While the consequences are not visible now it is likely that we will feel them in less than three decades.


SHARE

Related Posts