Antarctica losing six times more ice than four decades ago: study

Antarctica losing six times more ice than four decades ago: study
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Antarctic glaciers are losing ice at a far greater pace than the last four decades because of the rise in warm ocean water, The Washington Posted reported, citing a a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

The study revealed that the Antarctic annually lost 40 billion tons of melting ice between 1979 and 1989, according to the Post. But by 2009, the region's glaciers were losing 252 billion tons of ice per year, or six times more than it was four decades ago. 

The Post notes that about 360 billion tons of ice translates to a rise of one millimeter in the global sea-level. 

“I don’t want to be alarmist,” Eric Rignot, an Earth-systems scientist for the University of California at Irvine and NASA who led the research, told the newspaper, as he called for deeper research into the study. 


“The places undergoing changes in Antarctica are not limited to just a couple places. They seem to be more extensive than what we thought. That, to me, seems to be reason for concern.”

The study serves as the latest indication that climate change could have severe consequences in the future if it continues with the same level of intensity.

The Post reported that scientists have already predicted that sea levels could rise by three feet around the world by 2100 if carbon output doesn't dramatically decrease. 

Scientists conducting this new research on Antarctica reached their conclusions after calculating gains and losses across 65 sectors of the continent where large glaciers reach the sea.  

Among other findings, they determined that West Antarctica is losing the most ice on the continent. The research also revealed that East Antarctica, which contains the most ice in the continent, is experiencing significant melting. 

The research was published only months after a team of 80 scientists released a study that said the annual ice loss rate tripled in Antarctica to 219 billion tons, or 0.6 millimeters of sea-level rise, between 2012 and 2017.