Global ice loss speeds up at record rate
According to new research, the speed at which ice is melting all over the world is increasing.
The results indicate that between 1994 and 2017, the Earth lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice, equivalent to a 100-meter-thick layer of ice covering the whole of the UK.
The statistics were released by a research team that was the first to use satellite data to perform a survey of global ice loss.
The team, led by the University of Leeds, found that over the past three decades, the rate of Earth's ice loss has risen dramatically, from 0.8 trillion tons per year in the 1990s to 1.3 trillion tons per year by 2017.
Ice melting across the globe raises sea levels, increases the likelihood of coastal areas being flooded, and threatens to wipe out natural ecosystems that rely on wildlife.
"Over the past three decades there's been a huge international effort to understand what's happening to individual components in Earth's ice system, revolutionised by satellites which allow us to routinely monitor the vast and inhospitable regions where ice can be found," stated Dr. Thomas Slater, a Research Fellow at Leeds' Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling.
The study includes the planet's 215,000 mountain glaciers, the polar ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, the ice shelves floating around Antarctica, and the Arctic and Southern Oceans' drifting sea ice.
The key cause of the decrease of Arctic sea ice and mountain glaciers around the globe has been increasing temperatures, while rising ocean temperatures have increased melting.
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