Monday, July 2, 2012

Antarctic ice cap melting much faster than predicted

The studies, published Thursday in the London-based science journal Nature, said global sea levels could rise up to seven meters if the ice sheet in western Antarctica collapses centuries from now, as some researchers predict.

Scientists from New Zealand, Europe and United States conducted the studies, which involved extensive drilling into the sea floor under the Ross iceshelf - a glacier several hundred meters thick and the size of France.
Research links much of the current meltdown to warming under-sea currents. 

It remains unclear whether warming sea temperatures are being driven by climate change as scientists working for the United Nations Climate Panel on emissions of hydrocarbons (greenhouse gases) theorize. 

Last month, scientists contributing to the UN Polar Year survey said ice caps on both poles are melting at a much faster pace than expected. A Polar Year statement said researchers found Arctic ice levels at their lowest point since satellites began measuring the northern ice mass three decades ago. 

The report also said Antarctic researchers have found large pools of carbon, stored as methane gas, in the melting polar permafrost. Scientists have identified the large-scale release of methane into the atmosphere as one of the chief causes of global warming. 

Photo source:,+Arctic,+and+Polar+Ice+Caps


Anonymous said...

This is not good. If the people keep on ignoring the importance of protecting the earth, the situation will get worst.

Anonymous said...

If we don't start to contribute on slowing down the effects of global warming, these ice caps will melt even faster.

Anonymous said...

Polar bears are also getting extinct if the Antarctic ice caps continue to melt at alarming rate.

"Buddy" said...

Polar bears are in the Arctic, not the Antarctic. The Arctic is the first to go, and will be "ice free" during the peak of summer by 2015 or 2016. By will be ice free for 5 - 6 months. Polar bears are TOAST thanks to the amount of greenhouse gas we have been pumping into the atmosphere over the last century.

TuhauBam said...

The Arctic is global warming's canary in the coal mine. It's a highly sensitive region, and it's being profoundly affected by the changing climate. Most scientists view what's happening now in the Arctic as a harbinger of things to come.

TuhauBam said...

The melting of once permanent ice is already affecting native people, wildlife and plants. When the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf splintered, the rare freshwater lake it enclosed, along with its unique ecosystem, drained into the ocean. Polar bears, whales, walrus and seals are changing their feeding and migration patterns, making it harder for native people to hunt them. And along Arctic coastlines, entire villages will be uprooted because they're in danger of being swamped. The native people of the Arctic view global warming as a threat to their cultural identity and their very survival.

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