We knew Antarctica was thawing, but now the rate has tripled. It may sound small, but the added 0.12 inches in sea level rise is impressive considering it has one major source: West Antarctica, and has been accelerating.
“Since 2012, the amount of ice loss per year has tripled to 241.4 billion tons (219 billion metric tonnes) – equivalent to about 0.02 inches per year (0.6 millimeters) of sea level rise.” – NASA
The worry is that Antarctica has enough ice to raise sea levels 190 feet. It is doubtful that it would all melt, but the thawing of such a large reservoir and its acceleration may mean less time for us to compensate and react – and it already seemed as if there was too little time. One natural, moderating effect is that, as ice leaves the land, the land lifts because it isn’t weighed down by the ice. By lifting the land, the remaining ice is distanced from sea level, slowing its melting. The situation is complex because of the interactions, but for now we do know the effect, the sea level is rising faster than we expected.