Antarctic Melting Faster Than Expected
Nansen waterfall in Antarctica Photo: ESA
From Huffington Post:
‘The Antarctic ice sheet is melting at a faster rate than at any previously recorded time, according to a comprehensive new study.
The planet’s largest ice sheet is now losing more than 240 billion tons of ice every year ― a threefold increase from less than a decade ago. The melting is happening so fast that it could cause sea levels to rise 6 inches by the end of the century, the study projects.
The accelerating pace of melting means rising sea levels could threaten coastal communities far earlier than scientists had expected. North America, particularly the East Coast of the U.S., could be particularly hard-hit.
The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, has been described as the most exhaustive analysis ever conducted on the changes to Antarctica’s ice sheet. The research involved more than 80 scientists from 44 international organizations and used data taken from multiple satellites, as well as air and ground measurements and computer simulations.’
“Getz is an ice shelf that has been experiencing some of the highest basal melt rates of the Antarctic ice shelves,” said Nathan Kurtz, a sea ice researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The image below shows a views of Getz as photographed on Nov. 5 from a NASA research airplane by Jeremy Harbeck, a sea ice scientist at NASA Goddard.