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NASA/Michael Studinger

Melt rate for West Antarctic Ice Sheet has tripled in a decade

Global warming is helping melt the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a mass of glaciers spanning 2 million square kilometers in Antarctica, and over the past decade the rate of melting has tripled, according to researchers with the University of California, Irvine, and NASA. From 2003 to 2011, the rate increased from roughly 50 billion tonnes per year to roughly 125 billion tonnes per year, an average annual increase of 15.7 billion tonnes. Earlier this year, two teams of researchers reported that the collapse of the ice sheet is now inevitable, an eventuality that will raise sea levels by 3 meters.

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