The Antarctic ice sheet is losing as much as 36 cubic miles of ice a year in a trend that scientists link to global warming, according to a new paper that provides the first evidence that the sheet's total mass is shrinking significantly.
The new findings, which are being published today in the journal Science, suggest that global sea level could rise substantially over the next several centuries.
It is one of a slew of scientific papers in recent weeks that have sought to gauge the impact of climate change on the world's oceans and lakes. Just last month two researchers reported that Greenland's glaciers are melting into the sea twice as fast as previously believed, and a separate paper in Science today predicts that by the end of this century lakes and streams on one-fourth of the African continent could be drying up because of higher temperatures.
The new Antarctic measurements, using data from two NASA satellites called the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), found that the amount of water pouring annually from the ice sheet into the ocean -- equivalent to the amount of water the United States uses in three months -- is causing global sea level to rise by 0.4 millimeters a year. The continent holds 90 percent of the world's ice, and the disappearance of even its smaller West Antarctic ice sheet could raise worldwide sea levels by an estimated 20 feet.
Now here're some facts I got from a comment off of AMERICAblog:
1. Mt. Killamanjaro ice free first time in 11,000 years.
2. CO2 highest in over 650,000 years by 30%
3. Arctic Ecosystem nose diving
4. Weather patterns changing
5. Massive bird kills due to migrating algae
6. Methane escaping into atmosphere (last time this happened the Earth experienced its largest extinction ever)
7. Probably beyond the tipping point (irrev)
8. Ocean temperature increase now known to be due to hydrocarbons.
9. Rising sea levels expected to inundate and destroy coastal ecosystems
10. Mass extinction is probable.
But hey, the GOP and their drug induced spokesman, Lush Limba, says all is 'ok'; that all this shit about climate change is just left wing communist conspiratorial garbage.
It makes me hope there really is a Judgment Day so that these people will have to come to terms with what they've done to the earth.