WASHINGTON, NNC - Scientists have found that the melting of ice at the South Pole has resulted in sea levels rising by 7.6 centimeters since 1992, and a 40 percent increase in just the last five years.
The results, announced on Wednesday (6/13/2018) in the journal Nature, are based on combined data from 24 updated satellite surveys and 2012 findings.
All this shows that before 2012, Antarctica lost ice by a fixed amount of 76 billion tons annually, making it an additional 0.2 millimeters per year rise in sea levels.
But since then, there has been a sharp three-fold increase, the study says.
Between 2012 and 2017, the continent loses 219 billion tonnes of ice every year, thus adding 0.6 millimeters of sea level rise per year.
The South Pole keeps enough frozen water to raise sea levels up to 58 meters, Xinhua said as quoted by Antara in Jakarta on Thursday (6/14) morning. And knowing how much ice is melting is key to understanding the impacts of climate change today and in the future.
The three-fold increase in ice loss from the continent as a whole is a combined increase in the melting of ice in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula, and a bit of ice in Antarctica East.
"We are confident in our understanding of the change in the Arctic ice sheet and its impact on sea levels, we view this result as another warning for action to slow down the warming of our planet," said the co-author Eric Rignot, a leader in Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine.