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252 Gigaton Massa Es Antartika Raib Per Tahun (2009-2017)

Kehilangan massa es Antartika naik 6 (enam) kali per tahun dan pencairan es itu memicu kenaikan level permukaan laut di seluruh dunia berkisar lebih dari setengah inci per tahun selama 1979-2017. Begitu hasil riset Eric Rignot, Ph.D (peneliti NASA), Jérémie Mouginot (peneliti sains Bumi pada University of California-Irvine/UCI), Bernd Scheuchl (ilmuwan proyek sains sistem bumi pada UCI), Associate Professor Michiel van den Broeke (UCI), Melchior J. van Wessem dan Mathieu Morlighem (Utrecht University) yang dirilis oleh jurnal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences edisi Januari 2019 (Eric Rignot et al, “Four decades of Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance from 1979–2017”,  PNAS, January 14, 2019).

“That's just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, As the Antarctic ice sheet continues to melt away, we expect multi-meter sea level rise from Antarctica in the coming centuries,” ungkap Eric Rignot, ketua jurusan sains sistem Bumi pada UCI dan penulis utama karya ilmiah ini (University of California – Irvine, 14/1/2019)

Tim riset meneliti keseimbangan lapisan es (ice sheet balance) dan perbandingan akumulasi salju turun dengan pelepasan es pada garis landasannya serta es mulai mengapung ke lautan dan terlepas dari bongkahannya di 18 wilayah pada 176 cekungan dan kepulauan. “The Wilkes Land sector of East Antarctica has, overall, always been an important participant in the mass loss, even as far back as the 1980s, as our research has shown. This region is probably more sensitive to climate [change] than has traditionally been assumed, and that's important to know, because it holds even more ice than West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula together,” ungkap Eric Rignot (Science Daily, 14/1/2019).

Riset itu didanai oleh NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research dan Netherlands Earth System Science Centre. Hasilnya tahun 1979-1990, Antartika kehilangan 40 gigaton (40 miliar ton) massa es per tahun. Tahun 2009-2017, Antartika kehilangan 252 gigaton massa es per tahun. “As climate warming and ozone depletion send more ocean heat toward those sectors, they will continue to contribute to sea level rise from Antarctica in decades to come,” papar Eric Rignot.

 

Oleh: Servas Pandur