The loss of Antarctic ice
- This graph shows the movement over time of the mass of Antarctic ice from 2002 to 2013.
- The mass shown is 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.
- As the ice melts in Antarctica, the meltwater flows into the ocean, and NASA’s satellites detect the reduced mass of Antarctica and its ice.
Antarctica has lost 147,000 million tons of ice per year since 2003.
NASA: Vital Signs: Land Ice
The most recent graph
The most recent graph shows a more alarming loss of ice.
See the latest NASA Antarctica Mass Variation graph.
A section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline. This melting would raise global sea levels by 1.2
If the entire Antarctic Ice Sheet melted, the 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 the flooding of most major cities in the world?
Climate change is affecting the icy giant of the south: August 2019
It is not sustainable for us to have 147,000 million tons of Antarctic ice melting each year and significant ice sheet areas in an irreversible state of decline.