Accelerating Ice Melt in Antarctica

Antarctic is unexpectedly meltingWe’ve been looking a lot at the Polar Bear lately and his shrinking home of ice up in the north, but there is news from the south as well. I wish it were better news. 

Climate models had shown an expected increase in ice mass over the coming years, not the shrinking of ice that has now been observed in two independent studies using satellite imagery. The studies both show an accelerating and unexpected loss of ice mass on the continent, enough in 2006 to apparently raise sea levels over one-half of a millimeter. It adds up.

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Tags: , , , climate+change, global+warming
Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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    • Yes it would antrctica carries the coldness of the whole entire world all continenets sorrounded by sea ( for example Hawaii) will dround. This is a very SERIOUS CASE!!

  1. Hi Angela,

    Sea ice melting at the north pole (Actic) does not affect sea level, because the ice is already “in the ocean”. The common way of explaining it is to think of an ice cube as it melts in a glass of water. It doesn’t raise the overall level of the water.
    Land ice melting in Grennland and in Antarctica is another matter. Since the melt water runs from land into the ocean, it can have a significant effect on sea level. If all the ice melted on Greenland and/or Antarctica? I can’t really say the level of sea rise, but it would certainly be catastrophic. Fortunately, while there is concern of melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica though could be significant, nobody is predicting a total collapse of the ice in these regions anytime soon.

  2. So what about now? I’ts 2009 most of the glaciers here in the rockies are gone right?
    The polar bears are drowning in the arctic from the ice melt.
    Does the ice in antarctica melt slower because it’s on land?
    And finaly, What the heck do you use to measure a one half milimeter rise in sea level? Is it the small differance in water preasure or is it a laser or what? just curious.


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