EDUCATIONAL NEWS SCIENCE

280% increase in Antarctica ice melting

According to a study from University of California, Antarctica’s crucial ice sheet has been melting for the entire 39 year period since they starting measurements. With ice disappearing faster in each successive decade. Ice loss in Antarctica has increased from 40 gigatons (a gigaton is one billion tons) per year from 1979-90 all the way up to 252 gigatons per year from 2009-17, a 6-fold increase.

The study looked at 176 different basins around Antarctica where ice drains into the ocean and found that the rate of melting is increasing, especially in areas where warm, salty water. The imbalance between melting ice and replenishing snowfall means the continent is out of balance and thus increasing sea levels as the excess meltwater flows into the ocean.

Currently, Antarctica’s sea ice is at the lowest January levels since detailed observations began in 1979.