It’s been revealed today that The Antarctic ice sheet is dropping in weight by 160 billion tonnes of ice each year. 160 million tonnes seems like an unimaginable number to me, let alone three orders of magnitude higher. It does seem worrying that this is not major news and very few people actually know about this.
The huge loss of ice is most noticeable in the Western ice sheet in Antarctica. Here, there are 6 glaciers, all of which are melting. The cause of this great melt is significantly warmer ocean currents than usual, which are being blown towards Antarctica by stronger winds-something which scientists say is due to climate change.
The melting of the ice is causing global sea levels to rise by 0.43 mm a year, which may not seem a lot now, but we’ve all seen the world maps when the sea levels rise by half a metre or a metre in the media, and it’ll only take 100 or 200 years to reach that stage at this rate.
Antarctica holds 26.5 million cubic kilometres of ice so losing all this frozen water isn’t going to be a problem for the south pole. It’s the coastal towns and cities I’m worried for though.