The talk about climate change resurfaces the news again after Nature released a journal article titled “Choosing the future of Antarctica.” Written by various scientists who have extracted data from their field of science, the overall consensus is that significant changes will occur if nothing is done about global warming. 

To clarify, climate change and global warming are two different terms, which are commonly confused. Climate change is a change in global or regional climate patterns. Global warming, on the other hand, is the gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect. It’s a symptom of climate change, along with; rising sea levels, increasing number of hurricanes, and changes in precipitation. 


According to scientists, rising ocean temperatures contribute to the loss of ice. “Most of the ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea have thinned at an accelerating rate owing to increased ocean temperatures that caused higher basal melt rates in the sub-ice cavities.” 

Professor Andrew Shepherd at the University of Leeds partnered with Dr. Erik Ivins from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California to conduct an experiment. Their testings helped gather data about the melting ice and rising sea levels. The results from their test left people astonished. Antarctica’s rate of ice lost contributed to 0.2 mm to sea level rise annually before 2012. However, studies show that between the year 2012 and 2017, it jumped to 0.6 mm per year. That’s going from 76 billion tons to 219 billion tons of ice. 

Professor Shepherd stated,

We have long suspected that changes in Earth’s climate will affect the polar ice sheets. Thanks to the satellites our space agencies have launched, we can now track their ice losses and global sea level contribution with confidence. According to our analysis, there has been a steep increase in ice losses from Antarctica during the past decade, and the continent is causing sea levels to rise faster today than at any time in the past 25 years. This has to be a concern for the governments we trust to protect our coastal cities and communities.”

Featured Image via Flickr/Liam Quinn