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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.

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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.

“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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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

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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2020 Election

‘Cowardly’ and ‘shameful’: Critics say Trump’s refusal to release mid-year economic forecast an obvious election year ploy

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"It gets them off the hook for having to say what the economic outlook looks like."

Administration officials have confirmed that the White House, breaking with decades of precedent, will not publish a mid-year economic forecast—a decision critics said is an obvious move to shield President Donald Trump from the political implications of a tanking economy ahead of November's election.

"Trump figures if he doesn't tell people they're out of work, they won't know they're out of work," tweeted writer Gerry Conway.

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Internet stunned as pro-Trump reporter uses White House briefing to suggest the president depose Joe Scarborough

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At Thursday's White House briefing, OANN reporter Chanel Rion suggested to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany that President Donald Trump should welcome a defamation suit from MSNBC host and former congressman Joe Scarborough — so that Trump can depose him and further investigate the conspiracy theory that he murdered staffer Lori Klausutis.

Even McEnany herself seemed taken aback by the suggestion, saying "I have no further comments."

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Here's OAN's Chanel Rion asking Kayleigh McEnany about the possibility of Trump deposing Joe Scarborough in a lawsuit to find out if the MSNBC host actually killed Lori Klausutis. pic.twitter.com/rDyQlpMnov

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While pushing false conspiracy theories about mail voting, President Donald Trump has argued that he was allowed to vote by mail in Florida, because he was unable to vote in person. Like thousands of other claims made by the president, this one is simply not true.

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