Antarctic ice loss altering earth's gravity: Study

A new scientific study has found that a sudden and massive ice loss in a previously stable region of Antarctica is causing small changes in the gravitational field of the Earth.
This study was led by Dr Bert Wouters, a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Bristol, England and was recently published in Science Journal.
Key highlights of Study

  • The changes were observed using the CryoSat-2 satellite, a mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) dedicated to remote-sensing of ice.
  • Researchers have found that the ice surface of some of the glaciers is currently going down by as much as 4 m each year.
  • They also have found out that Southern Antarctic Peninsula showed no signs of change up to 2009. But after 2009, multiple glaciers along a vast coastal expanse suddenly started to shed ice into the ocean.
  • These glaciers measure around 750 km in length and are shrinking nearly at a constant rate of 60 cubic km and adding about 55 trillion litres of water each year.
  • With level of shrinking, this region now has become the second largest contributor to sea level rise in Antarctica and causing small changes in the gravity field of the Earth.