The rate of melting of the glaciers in the fastest-melting West Antarctica region has increased three-fold over the past decade, researchers said.
The researchers at the University of California at Irvine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory concluded the findings following analysis of the melting pace of glaciers in the past 21 years.
According to the researchers, the glaciers in West Antarctica’s Amundsen Sea are losing ice at a faster pace than another regions of Antarctica.
They are also emerging as the biggest contributor to rising levels of sea, said the researchers.
The study, which was published in May this year, concluded that the melting of glaciers in West Antarctica is accelerating at faster pace and the process appears like irreversible.
The West Antarctica region contains enough water that could easily raise sea levels by at least a meter.
This is first of its kind of study to assess and bring together the minute observations that are collected using four separate measurement techniques to generate an authoritative estimate of the amount of ice lost as well as the rate of loss over the last two decades.
“The mass loss of these glaciers is increasing at an amazing rate,” said Isabella Velicogna, a scientist who works jointly for UCI and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Study lead author Tyler Utterley of UCI said, “Previous works had indicated that this region is starting to change very dramatically since the 1990s. We used different techniques in order to have a comparative view.”
“The significant agreement among the measurement techniques gave us confidence that we are getting this right,” he added.
The findings of the research work were detailed in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.