Science Buzz

28 trillion tonnes…

… the amount of ice that Earth has lost since 1994 due to global warming, according to British scientists who analysed satellite surveys of the planet’s poles, mountains and glaciers. 60% of the ice loss was from the northern hemisphere, and the remainder from the southern.

The rate of ice loss has risen by 57% since the 1990s — from 0.8 to 1.2 trillion tonnes per year. This has drawn attention to the fact that the melting of ice in staggering quantities is reducing Earth’s ability to reflect solar radiation back into space. Melting glaciers and ice sheets could cause sea levels to rise dramatically. Every centimetre of sea-level rise means about a million people will be displaced from their low-lying homelands.