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Researchers: Antarctic ice sheet thinning continues to increase

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The West Antarctic ice sheet appears to be shedding far more ice than a few years ago, according to climate research unveiled Wednesday.

Previous research, conducted between 2005 and 2010, estimated that the ice sheet contributed 0.28 millimetres (0.1 inches) per year to the rise in global sea levels.

But three years of observations by Europe’s ice-monitoring satellite, CryoSat, suggests that the contribution is now 15 percent greater.

The ice sheet is losing over 150 cubic kilometres (36 cubic miles) of ice per year, the European Space Agency (ESA) said in a press release.

The phenomenon is linked to a thinning of ice flows at three big glaciers — Pine Island, Thwaites and Smith, said polar scientist Malcolm McMillan, at Britain’s University of Leeds.

The phenomenon is linked to a thinning of ice flows at three big glaciers — Pine Island, Thwaites and Smith, said polar scientist Malcolm McMillan, at Britain’s University of Leeds.

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“We find that ice thinning continues to be most pronounced along fast-flowing ice streams of this sector and their tributaries, with thinning rates of between four to eight metres (13 to 26 feet) per year near to the grounding lines — where the ice streams lift up off the land and begin to float out over the ocean,” he said.

Climate scientists are casting a worried eye at the mighty ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

There remain many unknowns about how this stored ice is responding to global warming, but the loss of just a significant chunk of it would threaten vulnerable coastal cities.

The global mean sea level rose by 19 centimetres from 1901-2010, an average 1.7 mm per year. It accelerated to 3.2 mm per year between 1993 and 2010.

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In September, the UN’s panel of climate experts said in their Fifth Assessment Report that loss of Greenland’s ice sheet had probably increased from 34 billion tonnes per year in the decade to 2001 to 215 billion tonnes a year over the following decade.

In Antarctica, the rate of loss probably increased from 30 billion tonnes a year to 147 billion tonnes a year over the same timescale, the panel said.

Most of the loss came from the northern Antarctic peninsula, considered a “hot spot” where the rate of warming is several times that of the global average, and from the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica, it said.

CryoSat uses a radar that measures the variation in ice height to high accuracy, enabling scientists to calculate the volume of the ice sheet.

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The new findings were presented at a meeting in San Francisco, California, of the American Geophysical Union, ESA said.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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Trump wants Americans to watch interview where he broke federal law by soliciting foreign election help: ‘Enjoy the show!’

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Despite widespread criticism, President Donald Trump on Saturday stood by his comments to George Stephanopoulos -- and hyped an upcoming broadcast of the interview.

"I enjoyed my interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News," Trump claimed.

"So funny to watch the Fake News Media try to dissect and distort every word in as negative a way as possible. It will be aired on Sunday night at 8:00 P.M., and is called, “President Trump: 30 Hours” (which is somewhat misleading in that I personally spent only a small fraction of that time doing interviews. I do have a few other things to do, you know!)," he continued.

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2020 Election

Utah Republican is in deep trouble after trying to defend Trump’s breaking of the law

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President Donald Trump's poor standing in Utah could cause big electoral problems for one of his loudest defenders in the state.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) said Trump would be "foolish" if he did not illegally accept election help from foreign adversaries.

On Saturday, Stewart was blasted by former CIA officer Evan McMullin.

McMullin was born in Provo, attended Brigham Young University, is Mormon and a also prominent conservative critic of Trump.

In 2016, McMullin ran against Trump as an Independent and received 21.3 percent of the vote in Utah during the general election. Trump also had problems in Utah during the Republican primary, receiving only 14 percent of the vote.

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Trump ‘will not leave his office if he narrowly loses in 2020’: Conservative columnist issues dire warning

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President Donald Trump will fight to remain in power regardless of the outcome if the 2020 election is close, a conservative columnist warned on Saturday.

Andrew Sullivan blasted Trump in New York magazine, honing in on the commander-in-chief's lying.

"For Trump, lying is central to his disturbed psyche, and to his success. The brazenness of it unbalances and stupefies sane and adjusted people, thereby constantly giving him an edge and a little breathing space while we try to absorb it, during which he proceeds to the next lie," he wrote.

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