According to a new study, the ice sheets in Antarctica are melting at a higher rate than they were just 10 years ago. Those ice sheets house between 60 and 90 percent of the earth’s fresh water.
The rate at which Antarctica is losing ice has tripled since 2007, according to the latest available data. The continent is now melting so fast, scientists say, that it will contribute six inches (15 centimeters) to sea-level rise by 2100. That is at the upper end of what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated Antarctica alone could contribute to sea level rise this century.
The study also helps clear up some uncertainty that was linked to regional differences in Antarctica. West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula, which reaches toward South America, have been known for some time to be losing ice. In East Antarctica the picture has been muddled as the ice sheet there gained mass in some years and lost mass in others.
East Antarctica is the largest section and has been used by fossil fuel skeptics to assuage the fears that most honorable scientists have about the continued disappearing. Some have argued that it is gaining mass. However, this study puts to bed the idea that there is anything positive going on here, as it makes it very clear that the ice sheets are melting and the East Antarctic section isn’t going to replace what is being lost.
As this is happening, sea levels are rising, which will lead to even more issues our idiotic conservative representatives won’t spend money to fix. That’s especially true for conservatives like Alabama Republican Mo Brooks, who suggested sea levels are rising because of rocks falling into the water.
Daily Kos’ Pakalolo has written pretty extensively about this very inevitability. The rate of ice melt in Antarctica is only matched by the rate of alarming news coming out about Antarctica.