Antarctica's ice sheet loss doubled since last survey
A three year survey has revealed that Antarctic is losing ice sheets twice as much as when it was last surveyed.
A team of scientists from the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling observed that Antarctic is now losing around 159 billion tonnes of ice each year.
The European Space Agency's CryoSat-2 satellite was used to measure the ice sheet elevation change, which carries an altimeter specially designed for this task and with its improved capabilities problematic areas such as rugged terrain of the Antarctic Peninsula can now also be surveyed properly.
The pattern of imbalance is dominated by glaciers thinning in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica.
The polar ice sheets play crucial role in global sea level rise and, when combined, the Antarctic losses detected are enough to raise global sea levels by 0.45 millimetres each year alone.
Professor David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey said that Antarctica plays a major role in rapidly increase in sea-level and it is a global issue, so they need to use every technique available to understand where and how much ice is being lost.
Dr Ian Joughin at the University of Washington said that the study has revealed many strong points relating to the strong thinning along the Amundsen Coast, which indicates that the region is in the early stages of collapse.
(Posted on 20-05-2014)