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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According to a new study, Antarctica is melting more than six times faster than it did in the 1980s. 

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

The new study found that, since 2009, Antarctica has lost almost 278 billion tons of ice per year. Previously, 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, a University of California, Irvine, ice scientist, 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 and 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, a Pennsylvania State University scientist, 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 (7)
  • nathanr-orv
    2/05/2019 - 11:24 a.m.

    I think it's important to study the ice melting in Antarctica because then you would know when the ice is all gone.

  • yarentzyap-orv
    2/05/2019 - 11:58 a.m.

    I think it is very bad to be losing Antarctica's ice. Especially for the Polar Bears, poor little guys are floating on the last pieces of ice. Global warming is effecting a lot of things. All are president is doing is worrying about the border wall. Instead he should be worrying about global warming and stop whatever can happen, before it DOES happen.

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

    I think it is important to study the ice melting in Antarctica because animals that live in Antarctica are in danger. They have a chance of loosing their habitat because of climate change caused by humans. The ice is melting because it is getting warm in Antarctica causing the snow to melt as well.

  • wschl-wim4
    2/07/2019 - 11:45 a.m.

    I think it's important to study ice melting because, when the ice melts in Antarctica the climate changes. Eric Rignot a ice melting scientist says the amount of ice melted from this year is 278 billion tons of ice. In 1980 the ice was only melting 44 billion tons. The amount of increase per year is about 15%. It is important to study ice melting because it's good to know what our future is like and what will happen to Antarctica.

  • chorn-wim4
    2/07/2019 - 12:01 p.m.

    I think its good that people are trying to study on why the ice is melting. There could be animals that live there near the ice. They could lose their protection or home. I think the ice is melting because it is getting to warm in Antarctica or the ice is falling into the water and sinking to the bottom.

  • bstric-wim5
    2/07/2019 - 12:57 p.m.

    I think that its good for people studying this weather because people need to know whats happening.Also people need to know why this is happening so we can find an way to stop this. As an over all resolute of this, we maybe can try to rebuild this.

  • diovannyt-orv
    2/19/2019 - 11:48 a.m.

    i thinks its important because the water can get higher and higher.

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