Antarctic Ice

Evidence > Antarctic Ice

Antarctica has lost 147,000 million tons of ice per year since 2003.
NASA: Vital Signs: Land Ice

As ice melts in Antarctica, the weight of the ice falls and NASA’s satellites detect this. Here is how the weight of Antarctic ice has dropped since 2002.

Antarctica Mass variation (NASA: Climate Indicators)
Antarctica Mass variation (NASA: Climate Indicators)

NASA: Climate: Key Indicators: Land Ice
(Graph source: Click to see the most recent graph)

This graph shows the movement over time of the mass of Antarctic ice measured in thousands of millions of tonnes (gigatonnes or Gt).

The ice levels move up and down with the seasons – but overall there is a downward trend.

“A new study by researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea. The study presents multiple lines of evidence, incorporating 40 years of observations that indicate the glaciers in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica have passed the point of no return. … These findings will require an upward revision to current predictions of sea level rise.” NASA: News Release: 12 May 2014

If the entire Antarctic Ice Sheet melted, sea level would rise by about 60 meters.
US National Snow and Ice Data Centre NSIDC: Cryosphere: Quick Facts: Ice Sheets

Substantial melting of the Antarctic ice might take hundreds of years, but would we want our descendants to cope with most major cities in the world being flooded.

*** It is not sustainable for us to have 147,000 million tons of Antarctic ice melting each year and (as quoted from NASA above) with significant areas of the ice sheet in an irreversible state of decline.

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