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Greenland, West Antarctic Ice Sheets Decline at Alarming Rate

The Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets are both declining at an unprecedented and alarming rate, according to satellite mapping by NASA. The volume of ice loss in Greenland has doubled since 2009, and “the loss of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has in the same time span increased by a factor of three,” said glaciologist Prof. Dr. Angelika Humbert. “Combined, the two ice sheets are thinning at a rate of 500 cubic kilometres per year. That is the highest speed observed since altimetry satellite records began about 20 years ago.” Romm comments that “we are seeing ice sheet loss at rates not imagined even a few years ago,” meaning that “if we don’t reverse carbon pollution emissions trends ASAP, sea level rise will likely be four to five feet or more by century’s end. Also, the rate of sea level rise in 2100 could be upwards of one inch per year.”

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