Antarctica is losing ice 6 times faster today than in 1980s This Nov. 11, 2016, file photo shows the Taylor Glacier near McMurdo Station, Antarctica. (Mark Ralston/Pool Photo via AP, File/Jeremy Harbeck/NASA via AP)
Antarctica is losing ice 6 times faster today than in 1980s
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Antarctica is melting more than six times faster than it did in the 1980s. That's according to a new study.

Scientists used many tools. They used aerial photographs and satellite measurements. They used computer models. They tracked how fast the southern-most continent has been melting since 1979. They have tracked 176 individual basins. They found the ice loss to be accelerating dramatically. This is a key indicator of human-caused climate change.

Since 2009, Antarctica has lost almost 278 billion tons of ice per year. That is what the new study found. In the 1980s, it was losing 44 billion tons a year.

The recent melting rate is 15 percent higher than what a study found last year.

Eric Rignot is a University of California, Irvine, ice scientist. He was the lead author on the new study. It was was published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He said the big difference is that his satellite-based study found East Antarctica is losing 56 billion tons of ice a year. Previously, it was considered stable.

Last year's study took several teams' work into consideration. It found little to no loss in East Antarctica recently and gains in the past.

Melting in West Antarctica and the Antarctica Peninsula account for about four-fifths of the ice loss. East Antarctica's melting "increases the risk of multiple meter (more than 10 feet) sea level rise over the next century or so," Rignot said.

Richard Alley is a Pennsylvania State University scientist. He was not involved in Rignot's study. He called it "really good science."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do you think it is important to study the ice melting in Antarctica?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (48)
  • Yadira C-mag1
    2/06/2019 - 03:20 p.m.


    Of course this is because of the climate changes that have been happening in the world because we as humans do not do our part but should determine itself what is the factor that is affecting you to start taking the right measures not just for that factor but for everything but start with the most serious

  • Nicolas S-mag
    2/06/2019 - 08:46 p.m.

    It*s sad to see how we are ending our planet and only home for people and animals. I believe that to help the planet earth we must take care of the environment. Antarctica is home to several animals and what we do affects us all.

  • dburn-wim4
    2/07/2019 - 11:09 a.m.

    I think its important to study the ice melting in Antarctica so that we know in advance if that melting ice could become a problem. If the melting ice where to become a problem for us we could work out a way to solve it before it happens because we have studied its affects.I think its important to study the melting ice so we can see if we need to find ways to stop it from melting,and if we cant stop it we can save the animals that inhabit Antarctica.

  • jkepn-wim4
    2/07/2019 - 11:13 a.m.

    Think it is important to study the mice melting in Antarctica because us humans are causing this tragedy. Since we are causing this problem we can fix it. So studying this is helping us fix this. You may ask "Why should we care about melting ice?" Well, that melting ice is the habitat for some very important species. So technically, it is important to study the melting ice in Antarctica because that is one of the few things we can do to stop ourselves from killing off some endangered species.

  • ahill-wim5
    2/07/2019 - 12:39 p.m.

    This not great at all, there are animals that's out there and need help because there the ice is melting faster and faster.
    The melting in Antarctica is being caused by the humans that is making this tragedy. We need to do something to help this horrible problem to stop.

  • mthor-wim5
    2/07/2019 - 12:40 p.m.

    I think it is important to study the ice because if we don't we will have consequences. For example if we don't keep track of the ice we wont be prepared for when the sea levels start to rise. They said they expect the levels to increase a whole lot because of the rate the ice is melting at now. Also, we wont know how to help those animals that are endanger because of the ice melting. By us knowing where and how fast the ice is melting it helps us know where to go help animals and also how we can help.

  • cmanz-wim5
    2/07/2019 - 12:40 p.m.

    I think it's important to study the ice melting in Antarctica because we could know in advance if the melting ice causes a problem. Ever since 1980, the ice has been melting six times faster which may lead to a problem in the near future. In the text, it states that, "melting in West Antarctica and the Antarctica Peninsula account for about four-fifths of the ice loss. East Antarctica's melting "increases the risk of multiple meter (more than 10 feet) sea level rise over the next century or so," Rignot said." So, in conclusion, I think it's important to study the ice melting in Antarctica.

  • jhami-wim5
    2/07/2019 - 12:55 p.m.

    I think it is important to study the ice melting because us as people need to be aware on what is going on around us. I think that the science are doing a really good job on how we can prevent more or less ice from melting.

  • brobb-wim5
    2/07/2019 - 01:06 p.m.

    Antarctica is loosing 6 times as much ice as they did in the 1980's. Global warming is the cause of this.It is causing animals to loose their homes. Without a place to live they'll die. This a real issue we need to stop, and it starts with the cows.

  • Annabel-E2
    2/08/2019 - 10:38 a.m.

    I think that it is sad that the ice is melting, and it is all our fault!I wish that there was some way to stop the ice from melting. It is terrible that Antarctica has lost almost 278 billion tons of ice per year! This is really sad, we need to stop the ice from melting. We need to fix this now!

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