http://www.sina.com.cn 2008年09月19日 11:54
Global Warming 全球变暖
A recent research report published by the United Nations indicates that it is quite possible that the Earth's temperature is rising well above the previous estimate.
Such an outcome would have severe consequences, such as the collapse of the Greenland ice sheet and disruption of the Gulf Stream ocean current.
The Antarctic ice sheet, which contains 90% of the world's ice, has lost significant mass in the past few years. The discovery comes as a surprise to scientists, who thought that the continent would gain ice this century because of increased snowfall in a warming climate.
A research team from the University of Colorado used satellite data to estimate that the ice sheet will lose up to 48 cubic miles by 2050. In comparison, a city the size of Los Angeles uses one cubic mile of fresh water every year. Ice shelves in the Antarctic will have decreased by more than 7,200 square miles in the next four decades.
At twice the size of Australia, Antarctica is the Earth's fifth largest continent and contains 70% of its total fresh water resources.