By Dan Lowry, Mario Krapp, Te Herenga Waka (*) – Rising seas are already making storm damage more costly, adding to the impact on about 700 million people who live in low-lying coastal areas at risk of flooding. Scientists expect sea-level rise will exacerbate the damage from storm surges and coastal floods during the coming decades. But predicting just how much and how fast the seas will rise this century is difficult, mainly because of uncertainties about how Antarctica’s ice sheet will behave.
Royal Navy survey ship HMS Protector smashed through nearly 300 miles of Antarctic ice to help scientists begin a five-year mission to understand how West Antarctica is contributing to global sea-level rise.
An enormous Antarctic glacier has given up an iceberg over 100 square miles in size, the second time in two years it has lost such a large piece in a process that has scientists wondering if its behavior is changing for the worse.
The Antarctic ice sheet has lost ice twice as quickly in the past three years as when it was last surveyed between 2005 and 2010, say scientists. Results from the CryoSat-2 satellite mission, published Monday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, say the largest ice sheet on Earth is now losing 159 billion tons of ice each year.