How much ice has Antarctica lost

According to a recent research, Antarctica has lost enough ice in the last quarter century so that the global level of waters would rise by 8 millimeters.

The study published in “Nature” journal reveals us the alarming numbers correlated to the melting of the ice in Antarctica. The polar region of the South of Earth has lost 3 trilion tons of ice between 1992 and 2017. On the vulnerable side of West Antarctica, the annual losing of ice rate has tripled in this period, reaching up to 159 bilion tons per year.

Also, the study proposes 2 scenarios related to the way in this situation could evolve in the next 50 years. The first scenario, the global gas emission remain uncontrolled,the weather keeps getting warmer and there are few decisions taken to respond to the changes that affect Antarctica. In this scenario, Antarctica suffers a fast change, which has global consequences. The heating of the ocean and of the atmosphere lead to the loss of big ice walls, which rise the sea level to rates that have not been observed since the end of the last glacial era, which happened more than 10.000 years ago.

The second scenario is an ideal one, in which ambitious measures are taken to limit the greenhouse gas emissions and the human pressure over Antarctica. If these conditions are respected, by 2070, Antarctica will look the same as in the present.The ice walls will remain mostly intact, reducing the loss of ice and, implicitly, limiting the rise of sea levels.

We can choose which of these scenarios will be a concrete fact in the next 50 years, but the time frame that we have is closing rapidly and we should take a decision as soon as possible that can model our future in a positive way.


Written by: Catalin POPSOR