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New researches show that Antarctica has lost an average amount of 92 billion tons of ice per year since 2003, even though the cause has not been scientifically demonstrated yet.

Dr Christopher Harig and Dr Frederik Simons, geoscientists at Princeton University in the US, used a US-German research satellite called GRACE (short for Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) to measure the extent and pattern of increased ice loss in the Antarctica. Data supplied by the satellite have been reported in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, and show that the loss has been dramatic especially in the West Antarctic region, where the 121 billion tons a year rate of ice loss registered in 2008 had doubled by 2014.

Since 2003, the continent has shed ice at the ever-increasing rate of six billion tons a year, while the West Antarctica’s melting rate hastened and reached 18 billion tons a year during the same timespan. These figures led researchers to conclude that there has been an annual average loss of 92 billion tons a year in the continent.

However, scientists are not positive yet about the cause of this phenomenon, even though Dr Simons highlighted that “with the rapidly accelerating rates at which the ice is melting, and in the light of other, well-publicised lines of evidence, most scientists would be hard-pressed to find mechanisms that do not include human-made climate change”.

Dr Harig stressed the consequences ice melting is having on sea levels, and stated that “if we continue losing mass in those areas, the loss can generate a self-reinforcing feedback, whereby we will be losing more and more i.e., ultimately raising sea levels”.


The gLAWcal Team

LIBEAC project

Monday, 11 May 2015

(Source: RTCC)


This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.