Looking at the survey statistics of Antarctica from the year 1992 to 2017, it is evident that Antarctica lost about three trillion tonnes of ice cover. The statistics are as per the analysis of satellite observations.
Specifically, in western Antarctica, the ice is lost at a rate which is thrice of the price of ice loss during that period. Presently, the ice loss rate is about one hundred and fifty-nine billion tonnes per annum. A quarter century has witnessed a lot of Antarctica ice loss. This ice loss is responsible for raising the global sea level by about eight millimetres.
Today, the most surveyed question is how Antarctica will look in the year 2070?
This question revolves around two scenarios. The first scenario is inclusive of the impacts of unchecked global greenhouse gas emissions and the second scenario is about the effects of the steps taken to prevent the global greenhouse gas emission.
The first scenario talks about the effects of global warming if it is left unchecked. In addition to the global warming, it also focuses on uncontrolled warmer climate and the impacts of little preventive measures against the global warming. If we focus on the effects of this scenario and visualise Antarctica in the year 2070, it is predicted that Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will change rapidly. When the oceans and atmosphere warms quickly, the warmer situation may cause a decline in the stretch of major ice shelves. As a result, there is an increase in the loss of ice sheet from Antarctica. Also, the sea level acceleration rises to rates which were never witnessed after the last glacial period. The final glacial period marked its presence about ten thousand years ago.
The second scenario concentrates on the actions for limiting the greenhouse gas emissions and establishing policies to reduce the increasing human pressures on Antarctica’s environment. If we witness similar situation, then the face of Antarctica will resemble as it is today with intact ice shelves. It, in turn, reduces ice loss from Antarctica’s ice sheet and thereby limits the rise in sea-level.
The research paper focusing on two potential narratives for Antarctica marks its presence in journal Nature.