The continent of Antarctica is melting faster. According to some reports, melting is speeding up since the last decade. About 60 to 90 percent of the fresh water available in the world is frozen in the form of ice in Antarctica. If all the ice melts, it will raise the sea levels to nearly 200 feet.
The ice is melting at an alarming rate. This is a major concern for the government to protect the continent and other coastal cities affected by this situation. Some of the analyses state that the melting has increased to about 25 percent more than the past decade. One of the research shows that Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tons of ice since 1992. According to some reports scientists say that this melting will increase the sea level to six inches by the year 2100.
The climate change will affect many communities and scientists have warned many countries to take action against the climate change. Antarctica now plays a significant role in maintaining global sea levels. The Southern Ocean insulated the Antarctic region from warm water that can melt its ice. Now due to the effect of climate changes, the warm water is flowing towards the western region. This region accounts for most of the melting of ice. The warm water weakens and melts the floating ice shelves. As a result, the continental ice flows into the sea.
The Eastern Antarctic region is more insulated with warm waters. Not much harm is done to these ice shelves. There is a substantial increase in the ice coverage in the recent times. This region makes up for about two thirds of the continent. Through collection of different satellite measurements, scientists are of the opinion that the eastern part of Antarctic region is gaining mass.
Under normal conditions too, the continents landscape is changing. Due to snow fall and melting of ice there is formation of glaciers sink holes. These melting ice and rising sea levels are mainly due to emission of greenhouse gases.
Satellites scanned the region’s ice with altimeters and collected information about its volume. The studies show that the western part of Antarctica lost ice of around 58 billion tons per year till the year 2012.It has increased to 175 billion tons per year so far. The peninsular region of Antarctica had an ice loss of around 7 billion tons from 1992 to 2012.It has increased to 36 billion tons from 2012 to 2017.This is mainly due to the weakening of the ice shelves.
The ices sheets leave their mark of existence on the continent. They mark the land they covered. Scientists can detect these ice sheets by looking at the sea regions across the western part of Antarctica. Government needs to take necessary steps to save the continent. They can plan to create ocean sanctuaries which would be the world’s largest protected area on earth. These ocean sanctuaries protect the marine life and may help to fight the effects of climate change.