Antarctic glaciers are melting faster
According to several new studies, Antarctic glaciers are thinning and slipping at twice the rate they had in the 1990s. These changes are expected to cause an appreciable rise in sea levels as the glaciers are losing about 250 cubic kilometres to the ocean every year. That is 60% more ice than that accumulated through snowfall, which translates into a global sea rise of 0.2 millimetres a year (i.e. 10% of the current rising levels). These changes are linked to a thinning of the floating ice shelves that used to hold the glaciers up. Large ice shelves disintegrated in 1995 and 2002 as a result of global warming and more than 5200 square miles of ice shelve area have been lost. The affected area is at the far northern tip of the Antarctic, just south of Chile and Argentina, where temperatures have risen by up to 2.5?‹C in the past 60 years „Ÿ faster than almost anywhere else in the world. These events in this area have relatively minor consequences, but they do indicate that changes in the Antarctic are occurring much quicker than expected and are an example of what could happen when the larger ice sheets begin to warm up, which could have much greater effects on the rate of sea level rise. For example, according to Theodore Cambos, a glacier expert from the university of Colorado, the sea level could rise by 16 feet if the glaciers around the Ross ice shelf came to melt.