Thursday, December 06, 2012

47 Scientists from 36 Laboratories Determine Staggering Ice-Melt Figures From Greenland and Antarctica | CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS | VIDEO

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Ice Melt illustration 1979-2000 (Edt)

Sheldon Glacier Antartica 11-29-12

By Michael D. Lemonick
Michael D. Lemonick
11-29-12
      The vast ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica have begun melting and sliding into the ocean as heat-trapping greenhouse gases continue to build in the atmosphere. How much and how fast the ice is disappearing, however, has been poorly understood, because the satellites that measure it haven’t always agreed. But a report published Thursday in Science has cleared up much of the uncertainty.

A team of no fewer than 47 scientists from 36 laboratories, looking at data from 10 different satellites, has come up with numbers everyone is on board with: between 1992 and 2011, Greenland has lost an average of 152 billion metric tons of ice per year, while Antarctica has shed 71 billion, contributing 11 millimeters to the rise in sea level over that period — about a fifth of the total (the rest has come from from seawater expanding as it warms and from melting mountain glaciers).

“The new estimates,” lead author Andrew Shepherd, of the University of Leeds, said in a press conference, “are the most reliable to date. They end 20 years of uncertainty.”

The estimates don't change projections about what’s likely to happen for the rest of this century. Scientists’ best estimate is that that the ocean, which has risen an average of 8 inches since 1900, should rise another 3 feet or so by 2100. . . .
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