Antarctica’s Ice Shelves Are Melting Rapidly.
Antarctica measures about 14 million square kilometers or 5.4 million square miles, about twice the size of Australia, and larger than the USA and Mexico together. Along its western edges, giant glaciers have been melting since 2002, and sections of the ice sheet are creeping towards the sea. There is growing evidence that this trend is accelerating: there has been a 75% increase in Antarctic ice mass loss in the ten years from 1996 to 2006. As of November 2012, the total mass loss from the West Antarctica is estimated at 118 ± 9 gigatonnes per year, mainly from the Amundsen Sea coast. In fact, ice mass loss in both Antarctica and Greenland contributes about 20% to the current rate of global sea level rise.
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