Record rate of melting ice

Record rate of melting ice
Record rate of melting ice

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The Earth is losing more and more ice every year, according to a study based on satellite images and mathematical models published on Monday in the journal

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The Cryosphere.

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The amount of ice on the earth’s surface melted by 28 trillion (or 28,000 billion) tons between 1994 and 2017.

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The rate of ice melting has increased by 57% since the early 1990s, the researchers found. from the University of Leeds.

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The increase from 800 billion to 1.2 trillion tonnes per year can, they say, be attributed to the accelerated melting of mountain glaciers, the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps and the Antarctic ice shelf. Global sea level rose 34.6 millimeters during the same period.

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The survey points out that there is no doubt that most of the world’s ice melt is a direct result of global warming.

Just over half (58%) of the ice loss is in the northern hemisphere, compared to 42% in the southern hemisphere. Antarctica and Greenland are the most affected.

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The planet is still heading for a warming of 3 ° C

©Corporal Phil Dye/Ministry of Defence via AP

Global warming: direct consequences for the polar regions

In October, the area of ​​the Arctic sea ice reached its lowest level ever recorded this season. His growth rate was also lower than normal. And multiple scientific studies have shown that the Greenland ice sheet is melting at an unprecedented rate, while the ice sheets of the “white continent” around the South Pole are also weakened.

This source triggers a vicious circle: the ice loses its reflective power, the sun’s rays are therefore more absorbed, the water from the melted ice warms the pack ice, which melts all the more …

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The phenomenon also contributes to the rise of the oceans, whose level has increased 15 centimeters in the 20th century according to UN climate experts. They warn that by 2050 more than a billion people living in low-lying coastal areas could be at risk.

With Belga.

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