New research, based largely on information from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 and ESA’s CryoSat satellite missions, has revealed alarming findings about the state of Antarctica’s ice shelves: 40% of these floating shelves have significantly reduced in volume over the past quarter-century. While this underscores the accelerating impacts of climate change on the world’s southernmost continent, the picture of ice deterioration is mixed.
The researchers found that 71 of the 162 ice shelves around Antarctica have reduced in volume, releasing almost 67 trillion tonnes of meltwater into the oceans. Moreover, they found that almost all the ice shelves on the western side of Antarctica experienced ice loss. In contrast, most of the ice shelves on the eastern side remained intact or increased in mass.
Credits: ESA/Planetary Visions