Last month we discussed on the great news that the ozone layer is starting to slowly recover and today we’re going to take a look at a more dire news. Apparently, West Antarctica’s ice meltdown is slowly, but surely, weakening the Earth’s gravity. It sounds as bad as it is!
West Antarctica’s Ice Meltdown
Researchers have discovered that the Earth’s gravity is weaker in the area of West Antarctica, due to the large amounts having melted down in recent years. The change is so massive, that it is actually influencing the gravity of the Earth.
The results of the study were published in the Geophysical Research Letters in August. It appears that Earth’s gravity will minutely fluctuate due to changes in the Earth’s mass. And when a large chunk of ice disappears, the gravity will change in that area.
Satellites recorded a dip in the Earth’s gravity field and the cause was identified as being the ice meltdown in West Antarctica. The satellites are called GOCE and they belong to the European Space Agency. They’re on a four year mission to study and map our planet’s gravity.
The measurements show that between 2009 and 2012, West Antarctica lost around 209 billion metric tons of ice. That number is very worrying, especially now that scientists have seen how much it influenced Earth’s gravity.
The team of researchers, led by Johannes Bouman, is planning to analyze ice loss from all of Antarctica with the help of the GOCE satellites. Their work helps us understand better the effects of global warming on our planet and our lives.
Are you worried by this news? Do you think West Antarctica’s ice meltdown should worry the world? Drop us a line in the comment section below, we would love to hear from you!