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Antarctica Lost a London-Sized Area of Underwater Ice in Only 6 Years
Antarctica's ice sheet is retreating due to warm ocean water circulating beneath its floating edge, researchers from the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds have found.
The study, published in Nature Geoscience, shows that the Southern Ocean melted 1,463 square kilometers of Antarctica's underwater ice between 2010 and 2016—an area roughly the size of Greater London.
"What's happening is that Antarctica is being melted away at its base. We can't see it, because it's happening below the sea surface," professor Andrew Shepherd, one of the authors of the paper, explained to The Guardian.
The team also produced the first complete map showing that the ice sheet's submarine edge, or "grounding line," is shifting.
Map showing rates of grounding line migration and their coincidence with ocean conditions around Antarctica between 2010 and 2016Konrad et al.
Lead researcher Dr. Hannes Konrad and his team found "extreme" grounding line retreat at eight of the ice sheet's 65 biggest glaciers. The pace of deglaciation since the last ice age is roughly 25 meters per year. However, the grounding line at these glaciers has been retreating more than five times that rate, the authors determined.
According to the paper, "Although most of the grounding line is stable, we estimate that 3.3 percent, 21.7 percent and 9.5 percent of East Antarctica, West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula, respectively, are measurably in a state of retreat."
This study could spell major implications for global sea level rise.
"The changes mean that very soon the sea-level contribution from Antarctica could outstrip that from Greenland," Shepherd added to The Guardian.
Konrad noted in a statement, "Our study provides clear evidence that retreat is happening across the ice sheet due to ocean melting at its base, and not just at the few spots that have been mapped before now. This retreat has had a huge impact on inland glaciers, because releasing them from the sea bed removes friction, causing them to speed up and contribute to global sea level rise."
Although the retreat of some glaciers has sped up, others such as the Pine Island Glacier have halted, the researchers found.
"These differences emphasize the complex nature of ice sheet instability across the continent, and being able to detect them helps us to pinpoint areas that deserve further investigation," Konrad said.
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Wolves and Jaguars Are Already Threatened by Border Razor Wire As Trump Vetoes Bid to Block Emergency Wall Funding
President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency Friday, overturning Congress' vote to block his national emergency declaration to fund a border wall that environmental advocates say would put 93 endangered species at risk. However, the president's decision came the same day as an in-depth report from UPI revealing how razor wire placed at the border in the last four months already threatens wildlife.
Yet another whale has died after ingesting plastic bags. A young male Cuvier's beaked whale was found washed up in Mabini, Compostela Valley in the Philippines Friday, CNN reported. When scientists from the D' Bone Collector Museum in Davao investigated the dead whale, they found it had died of "dehydration and starvation" after swallowing plastic bags―40 kilograms (approximately 88 pounds) worth of them!
By Joe Sandler Clarke
"Don't expect us to continue buying European products," Malaysia's former plantations minister Mah Siew Keong told reporters in January last year. His comments came just after he had accused the EU of "practising a form of crop apartheid."
A few months later Luhut Pandjaitan, an Indonesian government minister close to President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, warned his country would retaliate if it was "cornered" by the EU.
By Luis Torres
For some people who live along the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump's attempt to declare a national emergency and extend the border wall is worse than a wasteful, unconstitutional stunt. It's an attack on their way of life that threatens to desecrate their loved ones' graves.
At least 150 people have died in a cyclone that devastated parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi over the weekend, The Associated Press reported Sunday. Cyclone Idai has affected more than 1.5 million people since it hit Mozambique's port city of Beira late Thursday, then traveled west to Zimbabwe and Malawi. Hundreds are still missing and tens of thousands are without access to roads or telephones.
"I think this is the biggest natural disaster Mozambique has ever faced. Everything is destroyed. Our priority now is to save human lives," Mozambique's Environment Minister Celso Correia said, as AFP reported.