Parts of the ice sheets covering Antarctica are melting faster than predicted, with the net loss of ice accelerating in because of climate change.
A satellite survey between 1996 and 2006 found that the net loss of ice from Antarctica rose by about 75 per cent as the movement of glaciers towards the sea speeded up.
Scientists estimate that that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet lost about 132 billion tons of ice in 2006, compared with a loss of 83 billion tons in 1996. In addition, the Antarctic peninsula lost about 60 billion tons of ice in 2006.
“To put these figures into perspective, 4 billion tons of ice is enough to provide drinking water for the whole UK population for one year,” said Professor Jonathan Bamber, of the University of Bristol. “We think the glaciers of the Antarctic are moving faster to the sea. The computer models of future sea-level rise have not really taken this into account.”
So it looks like sea-level will rise even faster than predicted. No surprises there really…