Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds

The Washington Post reports that an “alarming study shows massive East Antarctic ice sheet already is a significant contributor to sea-level rise.”

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The article is based on a new study appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The chart above from the study shows the cumulative loss over time of Antarctic ice since 1979, which has totalled more than 5,000 gigatons. (A gigaton is a million times a million tons.) The loss rate can be seen to increase sharply over time. The average loss rate since 1979 has been about 130 gigatons a year. The rate of loss increased from an average of 40 gigatons per year in the first decade of the study to 252 gigatons per year in the most recent.

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