Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Science | By

Antarctica lost three trillion tonnes of ice in blink of an eye

Antarctica lost three trillion tonnes of ice in blink of an eye

The Antarctic ice sheet lost about three trillion tons from 1992 to 2017, according to an analysis by Nature magazine, which publishes this week a total of five studies on the evolution, current and future state of the continent. "The Outlook for the future differs from what we previously thought", says Andrew shepherd of Leeds University in the United Kingdom, one of the 84 scholars who participated in the study. "We were unable to detect any acceleration", says shepherd.

West Antarctica experienced the greatest recent change, with ice loss rising from 58.4 billion tons (53 billion metric tons) per year in the 1990s, to 175.3 billion tons (159 billion metric tons) a year since 2012.

The study says that from 1992 to 2011, Antarctica lost almost 84 billion tons of ice a year (76 billion metric tons). There's enough frost stacked on top of Antarctica that is enough to raise the sea level worldwide by approximately 200 feet.

While many glaciologists are sceptical about the study in 2016, no one knows exactly how quickly will increase the sea.


"This is the most robust study of the ice mass balance of Antarctica to date", said assessment team co-lead Erik Ivins at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. And the only way to test these models is to compare their predictions with what actually happens.

Between 1992 and 1997, it was losing ice at an average rate of 49 billion metric tons (49 gigatons) a year. If this continues, then any time soon there may cause a drop down to the ice, and sea level could potentially rise.

Scientists think that if there's change in the climatic condition any soon then the ice sheets in West Antarctica may collapse with the blink of an eye, resulting to massive rise in the sea level across the world.

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