Antarctica is one of the places most affected by climate change. Melting ice covering the continent’s surface causes sea levels to rise. Antarctica is currently losing, on average, a hundred billion tons of ice each year.
A NASA-owned satellite, called ICESat-2 for short, has been tracking ice levels in Antarctica since 2018. The satellite detects changes in the height of glaciers by measuring the time of reflection of the laser beams it sends to the earth.
April June 2019-a group of researchers at the University of California, San Diego, collected data from ICESat – 2 found that glacial levels in Antarctica rose during the period of April 2019-June 2019. Calculations by researchers using computer models show that 41% of rises in West Antarctica are caused by excessive snowfall that occurs over short periods of time. 63% of this rainfall was found to be caused by atmospheric rivers that carry moisture to the continent.
Atmospheric rivers are natural phenomena that carry high amounts of moisture in narrow corridors within the atmosphere. Scientific studies show that atmospheric rivers have a significant share of the rainfall that falls on the western coasts of all continents. The waters that evaporate from the oceans fall on continents in various forms after traveling a long distance in atmospheric rivers.