Amazing Facts

Antarctica’s ice has the power to reshape the size of the Earth

Antartica’s melting and depleting polar ice not only pose a risk by rising water levels in coastal areas but also change the wobble of planet Earth. Melting ice sheets,are changing the distribution of weight on Earth which in turn effects the wobble of our plant. Scientists and navigators have been accurately measuring the true pole and polar motion since 1899, and for almost the entire 20th century they migrated a bit toward Canada. But that has changed with this century, and now it’s moving toward England, according to study lead author Surendra Adhikari at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

Melting Antarctica’s ice sheets would raise oceans around the world by 200 to 210 feet (60 to 65 m)

In 2000, the largest recorded icebergs broke free from the Ross Ice Shelf, a region the size of Texas. With a surface area of 4,250 square miles (11,000 square km) above water and 10 times the size beneath, the iceberg was approximately as large as Connecticut. Scientists estimate it will take anywhere from 200 to 1,000 years to melt enough ice to raise seas by 10 feet, maybe only 100 years in a worst case scenario.

Since 2003, Greenland has lost on average more than 272 trillion kilograms of ice a year, and that affects the way the Earth wobbles in a manner similar to a figure skater lifting one leg while spinning, said Nasa scientist Eirk Ivins, the study’s co-author.

On top of that, West Antarctica loses 124 trillion kgs of ice and East Antarctica gains about 74 trillion kgs of ice yearly, helping tilt the wobble further, Ivins said.

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