by Alice Monroe
The fate of Antarctica will be decided within just 10 years, according to climate scientists, as the rate of ice loss has increased rapidly due to global warming.
A recent scientific study involving satellite monitoring has revealed a dramatic acceleration in the rate of ice loss - which currently amounts to three times the rate seen prior to 2012. Over the past 25 years, a staggering 3 trillions tons of ice has been lost from Antarctica.
Alarmed by the acceleration in rate of ice loss, scientists have now warned that time is rapidly running out to save Antarctica and the rest of the world from the catastrophic runaway effects of global warming, saying that greenhouse gas emissions must be curbed in the next decade to avoid major sea level rises caused by melting Antarctic ice.
▶ Antarctica's Ice Sheet Is Melting 3 Times Faster Than Before
Professor Martin Siegert, from the Grantham Institute at Imperial College, said: “Some of the changes Antarctica will face are already irreversible, such as the loss of some ice shelves, but there is a lot we can prevent or reverse.
“To avoid the worst impacts, we will need strong international cooperation and effective regulation backed by rigorous science. This will rely on governments recognising that Antarctica is intimately coupled to the rest of the Earth system, and damage there will cause problems everywhere.”
It is estimated that if all of Antarctica's ice was to melt, global sea levels would rise by as much as 190ft (58 meters).