A study published by NASA Monday, July 1, raises many questions. What happened in Antarctica in 2014? Until that date, the data collected by the US space agency show that the ice continent had continued to grow. But the curve was suddenly reversed five years ago, in dramatic proportions, without really understanding why.
In 2014, the Antarctic ice floe had never been larger since it was measured. Three years later, in 2017, it had never been so small. In three years, 2 million square kilometers of ice have disappeared, the equivalent in area the size of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
And this downward trend has been confirmed ever since. Why ? It’s a mystery. Several hypotheses are put forward by scientists: the winds, the marine currents, the temperature of the deep waters… But none of these tracks is really satisfactory.
One thing is for sure: the melting of ice in Antarctics ice is a very bad thing. Unlike the Arctic, which is a huge floating ice cube, this ice rests on a continent. its disappearance will therefore directly raise the level of the oceans: 57m in total, if everything was to disappear.
Fortunately, we are still very far from being there. But the phenomenon is growing. And above all, it’s is not isolated. On the other side of the planet, Greenland is hit with the same problem. The melting of continental ice has quadrupled in the last ten years, this time with a real risk of seeing it disappear entirely if we stay on the same path of climate change.