Global warming: the melting ice has accelerated sharply in three decades

Icebergs floating near Kulusuk, Greenland, August 16, 2019. AP - Felipe Dana

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According to a study from the University of Leeds published in the scientific journal The Cryosphere, 28,000 billion tonnes of ice disappeared between 1994 and 2017. Melting ice has already contributed to the rise in sea levels.

This will have "very serious impacts on coastal communities" in the 21st century.


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+ 65%: this is the spectacular increase in the rate of melting of the Earth's ice cap between 1994 and 2017. The melting of the ice has accelerated sharply in three decades, according to the " 

worst scenarios

 ", in the words used by the British University of Leeds which led this study.

The observation, drawn up on satellite observations of the cryosphere, is clear.

28,000 billion tonnes of ice have disappeared in the space of thirty years.

In a press release published Monday, January 25, researchers from the University of Leeds deliver an alarming comparison: 28,000 billion tonnes is "the

equivalent of a layer of ice 100 meters thick covering the whole Kingdom. United

 ”, which covers an area of ​​over 242,000 km².

New #EGUhighlights: Review article: Earth's ice imbalance

- The Cryosphere (@EGU_TC) January 25, 2021

"The rise in the level of the oceans (...) will have very serious impacts on coastal communities"

In recent years, the rate of ice making on Earth has skyrocketed.

While it was " 

800 billion tonnes per year in the 1990s

 ", it rose to " 

1.3 trillion tonnes per year in 2017


The phenomenon is global, but it is in the

Arctic and Antarctic oceans

that the losses were the most important: the first lost 7,600 billion tons of ice, and the second 6,500 billion tons.

Mountain glaciers, meanwhile, have melted by 6,100 billion tonnes.

Thomas Slater, lead author of the study, warns: " 

A rise in ocean levels of this magnitude will have very serious impacts on coastal communities this century


The level of the oceans has globally increased by 35mm.

However, according to the University of Leeds, " 

every centimeter of rise in sea level threatens the displacement of approximately one million people living on low land


An alarmist tone already used by the United Nations in mid-January, while

2020 was the hottest year on record

, tied with 2016. The UN then predicted that the world was heading towards “



global warming 

in 21st century.

Read our assessment of global #ice loss out today in @EGU_TC - Earth is losing ice 65% faster now than it was in the 1990s, at a rate of 1.3 trillion (metric) tonnes per year: 3v68e52oA4

- Tom Slater (@_tslater) January 25, 2021

(With AFP)


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