East Antarctic Ice Sheet

East Antarctic Ice Sheet

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The '''East Antarctic Ice Sheet''' ('''EAIS''') is one of two large [[ice sheets]] in [[Antarctica]], and the largest on the entire planet. The EAIS lies between [[45th meridian west|45° West]] and [[168th meridian east|168° East]] longitudinally. The EAIS is considerably larger in area and mass than the [[West Antarctic Ice Sheet]] ('''WAIS'''). It is separated from the WAIS by the [[Transantarctic Mountains]]. The EAIS rests upon a large land mass, contrary to that of the WAIS, which rests mainly on bedrock below sea level.{{Citation needed|date=December 2009}} The EAIS is also home to the thickest ice on the Antarctic continent, at 15,700 ft (4,800 m). More well known, however, is that the EAIS is home to the [[South Pole]]. The [[East Antarctica Ranges]] are a group of mountain ranges situated on the EAIS. The [[East Antarctic two-thousanders]] are the 29 known peaks within these ranges whose summits reach or exceed 2000 meters above sea level. == Ice mass changes == Current international focus on [[global warming]] issues has drawn attention to the melting of the [[polar ice caps]]. [[Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment | GRACE]]-based studies data indicate that the EAIS is losing mass at a rate of 57 billion tonnes per year and that the ''total'' Antarctic ice sheet (including [[West Antarctic Ice Sheet|WAIS]], and EAIS coastal areas) is losing mass at a rate of 152 cubic kilometers (ca 139 billion tonnes) per year. == Temperature changes == Cooling in East Antarctica during the decades of the 1980s and 1990s partially offset warming of the West Antarctic ice sheet which has warmed by more than 0.1°C/decade in the last 50 years. The continent-wide average surface temperature trend of Antarctica is positive and significant at >0.05°C/decade since 1957. == Territorial claims == {{main | Antarctic territorial claims}} Many countries hold a claim on portions of Antarctica. Within EAIS, the [[United Kingdom]], [[France]], [[Norway]], [[Australia]], [[Chile]] and [[Argentina]] all claim a portion (sometimes overlapping) as their own territory. == External links == * [http://www.ess.washington.edu/web/ess/people/faculty_bio/steig-bio.html E. J. Steig summary of paper on warming in West Antarctica referenced herein] * [http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v457/n7228/full/nature07669.html Nature journal cover image depicting warming in Antarctica] {{EAntarctica-geo-stub}} {{coord missing|Antarctica}}