Using a combination of gravity and laser satellite data, scientists at the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) studying Antarctic glaciers have confirmed the region’s warming and consequent loss of ice mass.
Measuring the ice loss has required special techniques because many of the glaciers are underwater and do not rest on land. Nonetheless, a major review published in 2009 found that especially those on the Western Peninsula are retreating at an ever accelerating rate.
The recent NASA satellite data confirms those findings, signaling dangerous changes that could result in massive sea level rise. The retreat of the Western Antarctic’s Pine Island Glacier has quadrupled between 1995 and 2006.
Moreover, melting beneath the large ice shelves is speeding their collapse and leading to losses such as the one in 2002, where the vast, 12,000-year-old Larsen B took only three weeks to disintegrate entirely.
National Aeronautics and Space Agency scientists, we appreciate these factual observations of the rapidly changing Antarctic, disturbing as they are. At this urgent time of planetary crisis, let us join in caring and sustainable lifestyles to preserve our planetary home. Supreme Master Ching Hai has often emphasized the critical need to act in reversing global warming and its adverse effects, as during an August 2009 videoconference in Thailand.