The loss of ice covering Greenland and Antarctica has accelerated over the last 20 years, shrinking three times as much as in the 1990s and contributing substantially to sea level rise, according to a comprehensive new study of ice sheet loss conducted by 26 laboratories around the world.
bbc's david shukman quotes professor andrew shepherd who led the study:
"We can now say for sure that Antarctica is losing ice and we can see how the rate of loss from Greenland is going up over the same period as well," he added.
"Prior to now there'd been 30 to 40 different estimates of how the ice sheets are changing, and what we realised was that most people just wanted one number to tell them what the real change was.
"So we've brought everybody together to produce a single estimate and it turns out that estimate is two to three times more reliable than the last one."
and darryl fears (washington post) puts it into practical terms:
As Hurricane Sandy showed, an understanding of sea-level rise is critical, said Julie Brigham Grette, a professor of glacial geology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. And that understanding hinges on the fates of the Greenland and Antarctica glaciers, the main reservoirs capable of affecting sea-level rise, according to the IPCC.
Although ice-sheet loss contributes to sea-level rise, the main culprit is global warming. A rise in temperature because of greenhouse gases is transferred to the oceans, causing them to expand. Sea level is expected to creep up by about 40 inches in the next 90 years, Grette said.
this is so disturbing. i keep thinking about 2007, when people like sheryl crow and her gal-pal went around pretending to give a damn about the environment.
the 2 haven't said a word since, have they?
and they won't.
they really only care about the environment if there's a republican in the white house. then, to them, it's an emergency and a crisis. otherwise, they don't give a damn.
let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'