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The Guardian - Ice in the Antarctic is melting at a record-breaking rate and the subsequent sea rises could have catastrophic consequences for cities around the world, according to two new studies.

Writing in Nature, the authors are all winners of the Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica and experts in such disciplines as biology, oceanography, glaciology, geophysics, climate science and policy.

From 1992 to 2011, Antarctica lost almost 84 billion tons of ice a year (76 billion metric tons).

Professor Martin Siegert, Co-Director of the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London says: "Antarctica has in it enough ice that if it all melted, sea levels will rise globally by over 60 metres".

The researchers note that if in the next decade is not taken, the melted ice can add more than 25 cm to the overall increase in sea level in the world by 2070. The findings helped confirm that the Greenland Ice Sheet is a sensitive responder to global climate change.

And a major United Nations assessment in 2014 said seas could rise this century by between about 30 cm and nearly a meter.

The speed that the ice melts is a key indicator of climate change. "Thanks to the satellites our space agencies have launched, we can now track their ice losses and global sea level contribution with confidence". Sea level rise is a threat to cities from NY to Shanghai as well as low-lying nations from the Pacific Ocean to the Netherlands.

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"We view these results as another alarm to slow the warming of our planet", said Eric Ringo, employee of the jet propulsion Laboratory of NASA, who for two decades had been watching the ice cover the Ground. U.S. President Donald Trump plans to pull out of the pact and to focus instead on U.S.jobs and coal. The latter is increasingly being viewed as posing a potential planetary emergency, because of its enormous size and its role as a gateway that could allow the ocean to someday access the entirety of West Antarctica, turning the marine-based ice sheet into a new sea. "This paper suggests it is stretching its limbs".

West Antarctica consists of frozen islands while the major part of East Antarctica could not be approached and also stable as it is plated on land mass unlike West Antarctica influenced largely by changing ocean temperature. Velicogna also said that the increased rate of melting started happening in earnest around 2002 and that, in the last five years, alone, the rate has accelerated to five times faster (!) than in previous years. It was gaining ice before 2012. The continent is melting so fast, that it will contribute to six inches ( 15 centimetres) to sea level rise by 2100.

"There's a big difference between seasonal changes in sea ice and the longer term trends that we see in other parts of the cryosphere, like the ice sheets", Shepherd said.

"This study is more evidence that the warming effects of climate change are impacting our planet in ways that are often more unsafe than we perhaps had thought", said Dow.

This significant increase in the rate of melting is caused, first of all, the influence of ocean currents that bring warmer water flows and accelerate the melting of the ice shelf.

Greenhouse gas emissions and global warming are the main causes of rising sea levels.

That's because as Antarctica's mass shrinks, the ice sheet's gravitational pull on the ocean relaxes somewhat, and the seas travel back across the globe to pile up far away - with USA coasts being one prime destination.


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