Antarctica and Greenland are pouring six times more water into the seas from melting ice than in the 1990s, rising from 81 to 475 billion tonnes per year in less than 30 years, a worrying result of a new study published in Nature by Andrew Shepherd of Leeds University in collaboration with Erik Ivins of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
According to the study, the ice layers present at the ends of the planet (North and South Pole), layers as thick as several kilometers, have been reduced by 6.4 trillion tons from 1992 to 2017.
Greenland alone would have lost 3900 billion tons of ice between 1992 and 2018, causing a sea level rise of 10.8 mm. The peak was 345 billion tons in 2011, while between 2013 and 2017 there was a slowdown with 222 billion tons of melted ice per year due to atmospheric circulation that favoured cooler conditions.
Of course, these phenomena only raise sea levels, which makes tropical storms and cyclones more frequent, destructive and deadly.
“Every inch of sea level rise leads to coastal flooding and coastal erosion, disrupting life across the planet,” Shepherd himself explains.
The same scientist states that if these scenarios were to continue at today’s rate, in the worst case scenario there could be a 17 cm rise in sea level by 2100.
Needless to say, this is due to global warming: almost all the ice that has melted in Antarctica and half of the ice that has melted in Greenland is due to the warming of the oceans that accelerate the movement of glaciers towards the sea.
This is because the oceans absorb most of the excess heat, coming from above the surface and caused by global warming.
Calculations were made on the basis of data from satellites, measurements taken at the sites themselves and computer modelling.
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