Energy & Environment

World’s ice melting 57 percent faster than in 1990s: study

NOAA's Arctic Report Card tells the story of a planet in the grip of climate change

The world’s ice is melting faster than just a few decades ago, with rates increasing by 57 percent since the 1990s, according to a study published on Monday.

The study, published in The Cryosphere and conducted by researchers in the United Kingdom, found that the rate of ice loss has increased from 0.8 trillion to 1.2 trillion tonnes per year.

The paper blamed the increased rate on greater ice loss from mountain glaciers, Antarctica, Greenland and Antarctic ice shelves. 

In a statement, the paper’s lead author said that the findings are in line with worst-case scenario projections. 

“The ice sheets are now following the worst-case climate warming scenarios set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” said Thomas Slater, a research fellow at Leeds’s Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling. 

“Sea-level rise on this scale will have very serious impacts on coastal communities this century,” Slater added. 

The researchers, using satellite observations in their findings, said their study was the first to use satellite data to survey global ice loss. 

They found that between 1994 and 2017, the Earth lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice. This is equivalent to a 100 meter thick ice sheet covering the entire U.K.

The ice loss has also raised the global sea level. Rising sea levels can result in flooding and harm coastal ecosystems.

The paper said that “there can be little doubt” that the vast majority of the planet’s ice loss is a “direct consequence” of the climate warming up. 

Tags Climate change sea ice loss
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