Antarctica is Causing a Global Sea Level Rise (Download PDF)


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Scientists are working for over 200 years continuously in Antarctica to find new organisms & data that could reveal Earth’s climate history & signs of climate changes. More than 40 other countries have joined agreement & then research station on continent has grown rapidly.

Image of Antarctic sea level rise

Image of Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Image of Antarctic sea level rise

US & other 11 countries signed Antarctic treaty in 1959 to ban military activities & invest into scientific investigations.

More than 40 other countries have joined agreement & then research station on continent has grown rapidly.

Facts About Antarctica

  • Antarctica is observed to go thru highest ice loss rate in past 25 years, resulting in global sea level raise.

  • Antarctica is 5th largest continent in world. It is coldest continent & is almost entirely covered in snow.

  • Antarctica is situated in South Pole of earth. Average temp. of place in winters is -34.4 C.

  • Lowest temp. recorded was -144 F, which is lowest temp. recorded in world.

  • Antarctica has 2 seasons– winter & summer. Continent’s season change depends on tilt of Earth’s axis in relation to sun.

  • It contains 70 % of world’s fresh water, Antarctica is considered desert as it receives very low amount of rain or snowfall.

  • More than 300 large lakes are covered under ice sheet of Antarctica.

Changes Observed in Antarctica

  • Data collected Grace Satellite used by NASA shows that Antarctic is losing more than hundred cubic kms of ice every year since 2002.

  • Region is losing ice at accelerated rate.

  • Ice loss rate has tripled since 2012 & has resulted in increase of global sea levels by 0.12 inch (3 millimetres).

  • Team looked at mass balance of Antarctic ice sheet from 1992 to 2017 & found that global sea level raised by 0.3 inches (7.6 millimetres).

  • These rapid rates of ice melting from Antarctica is causing sea level rise faster than any time in past 25 years.

  • Before 2012, ice loss was at steady rate of abt 83.8 billion tons per year, contributing abt 0.008 inches to sea level rise every year.

2 Imp. Researches Conducted in Antarctica

Under mission BARREL, research team launched balloons every day or 2 into circumpolar winds that circulate around pole.


  • Scientists released 20 balloons in 2013 into air under mission BARREL to study Radiation-belt Relativity Electron Losses, led by physicist Robyn Millan of Dartmouth College in Hanover.

  • Research team launched balloon every day or 2 into circumpolar winds that circulate around pole.

  • Balloon floated anywhere from 3 to 40 days, measuring X-rays produced by fast-moving electrons high up in atmosphere.

  • Final balloon was released by researchers on 30th Aug. , 2016, to study on electrons precipitate into earth’s atmosphere.

  • Total of 8 payloads were launched.


  • Mission IceBridge aimed to collect data on many facets of Antarctic land & sea ice.

  • IceBridge’s laser altimeter, Airborne Topographic Mapper or ATM, collected ice elevation data along paths previously measured by NASA’s Ice, Cloud & Land Elevation Satellite, or ICESat, in 2009.

  • Last flight of mission IceBridge was scheduled on 27th May, 2017.

  • ICESat-2 south, was designed long ground tracks of NASA’s upcoming ice, cloud & Land Elevation Sattelite-2 to fill in gap in altimetry coverage of central southern Greenland.

- Published/Last Modified on: January 23, 2019

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