March 2 (Bloomberg) — Antarctica is melting at an annual rate equal to dumping Lake Tahoe into the ocean, causing global seawater to rise as much as 0.6 millimeters (0.02 inches) a year, according to a study published by Science.
Researchers used two NASA satellites to measure the loss of the ice sheet on the Earth’s fifth-largest continent between April 2002 and August 2005. The findings contradict an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment in 2001, which predicted the ice sheet would gain mass in the 21st century.
“We can now see Antarctica melting,” said Isabella Velicogna, a member of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research Environmental Sciences. “We have a number for the ice sheet. It’s a big step toward understanding how the sea level is going to change.”
Antarctica’s annual loss of 152 cubic kilometers of mass is 36 times the amount of freshwater used by Los Angeles annually, said Velicogna, chief author of the report. The melting slowed in the last two years of the study, although the researcher said she didn’t see this as an indication the warming of the ocean had stopped.
“The Antarctica ice sheet is the largest reservoir of freshwater on Earth,” she said, adding the continent has 70 percent of the Earth’s freshwater resources. “It’s important we know how the sea level changes for everybody’s life.” – MORE
I heard Rush Limbaugh ( who for years has claimed there is no such thing as global warming ) this morning saying that people should just turn off their radios, ignore the news. Don’t listen to the doom and gloom. In other words, if the truth gets so “in your face” that you can’t believe the lies anymore, stick your head in the sand. I doubt that ignoring global warming will make it go away.