The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Is Antarctica Ice Melting or Growing? Watch This NASA Video and See for Yourself
You might have seen the news from NASA last week: Antarctica’s Larsen B Ice Shelf could disappear before the end of the decade.
But even while the Antarctic land ice disintegrates down south, and Arctic ice contracts further up North, climate change deniers are touting the record extent of Antarctic ice and using that to claim that climate change isn’t even happening.
What's really going on with the polar ice caps?
In short, there's a difference between sea ice and land ice. Antarctica's land ice has indeed been melting at an alarming rate.
Land ice—also called “glaciers” or “ice sheets”—is ice that has accumulated over time on land. Sea ice is frozen, floating seawater.
Overall, the Antarctic sea ice has been stable—but that fact doesn’t contradict the evidence that our climate is warming.
The ice sheet—land ice—that covers most of Antarctica is melting at the rate of about 159 billion tons every year in recent years. When land ice melts, it flows as water into the ocean, contributing to sea-level rise. Antarctica's melting land ice poses a direct threat to the hundreds of millions of people living on islands and near coasts.
Here’s more about why this is the case—and how glaciologists know this isn’t normal—from our friends at Yale Climate Connections:
What can you do?
First, get informed so that you can respond when you hear misinformation about the ice caps. Visit Skeptical Science for a complete debunking right now, and don’t forget to speak out when you see climate myths perpetuated.
Then, attend a Climate Reality Leadership Corps training to learn more about what’s really happening with our planet—and what you can do to build powerful momentum for solutions. Our next training is July 9-10 in Toronto, Canada.
The Climate Reality Leadership Corps is a global network of more than 7,600 activists working to educate and empower communities in more than 125 countries to take action on climate change. Climate Reality Leaders come from all walks of life but all come with the same deep desire to make a difference and help solve the climate crisis.
By attending a focused multi-day training in Toronto with former US Vice President Al Gore and other experts and influencers, you’ll learn about:
- The science of climate change
- The direct cost of climate impacts on communities across continents
- The practical solutions available and working today
- Effective grassroots organizing for solutions
- How activists like you are working together to drive change around the world
Click here to apply to The Climate Reality Leadership Corps today.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Shawn Radcliffe
The CDC recommends that all people wear cloth face masks in public places where it's difficult to maintain a 6-foot distance from others. This will help slow the spread of the virus from people without symptoms or people who do not know they have contracted the virus. Cloth face masks should be worn while continuing to practice social distancing. Instructions for making masks at home can be found here. Note: It's critical to reserve surgical masks and N95 respirators for healthcare workers.
The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.
Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.
Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.