Melting ice mounts concerns

Researchers announced last week that Antarctic ice sheets once thought to be safe from global warming have become vulnerable and are melting faster than in previous decades, fueling worries of rapid sea-level rises.

NASA scientist Eric Rignot, who released the findings in the online journal Nature Geoscience, told The Washington Post changes in the ocean must be triggering the melting in the continent’s western region. That’s because it is occurring despite surface temperatures that have remained relatively stable.

Rignot’s findings come from mapping data collected over the past decade by several weather satellites. Antarctica reportedly is home to approximately 90 percent of the world’s ice. Officials from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change responded that the phenomenon, coupled with melting in Greenland, likely will cause ocean levels to rise several meters by the end of the century.