Sun. May 9th, 2021

the Torch

The student voice of Wichita High School South

How Fast Is Antarctica Melting Away?

3 min read

What’s happening to Antarctica?

Antarctica is the southernmost continent of the world and virtually uninhabited with a population of 1,106 people. Antarctica’s glaciers have been rapidly melting away over the past few decades because of the rising temperature of the oceans. From 1979 to 1989, Antarctica lost 40 billion tons of ice per year and in 2009, that figure significantly changed to 252 billon tons of ice lost.

How long will Antarctica last?

The region is losing 6 times as much ice as it was 4 decades ago, an incredible increase. If all of the continent’s ice were to melt away, it would make the sea level rise more than 50 meters. The chances of Antarctica completely melting in our lifetime, or even in the next generation’s lifetime, are slim to none. It will take thousands of years for it to melt, but there could be many things that could affect people in our lifetime from Antarctica melting.

What are the effects of Antarctica melting?

One of the biggest effects of the melting is the rising sea levels, but it is not the most important. One of the dangers includes huge ice glaciers falling off and floating into boat or cruise ship routes that could make it difficult to navigate the oceans. It also ruins some of the animals’ habitats that live in Antarctica, and it could cause some of them to go extinct. One of the scariest effects includes dangerous diseases that could be released from the melting ice; these diseases could quite possibly have been previously unknown.

Staff

May 2021
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