Antarctica is losing ice 6 times faster today than in 1980s

January 14, 2019 - 2:00 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study shows Antarctica is melting more than six times faster than it did in the 1980s.

Scientists used aerial photographs, satellite measurements and computer models to track how fast the southern-most continent has been melting since 1979. They find the ice loss to be accelerating dramatically — a key indicator of human-caused climate change.

Since 2009, Antarctica has lost almost 278 billion tons (252 billion metric tons) of ice per year, the new study finds. In the 1980s, it was losing 44 billion tons (40 billion metric tons) a year.

Study lead author Eric Rignot says it is worrisome that ice melting is in East Antarctica, which used to be stable.

The study is in Monday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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