The Dictionary of the Climate Debate (DCD)

Definition: East Antarctic Ice Sheet

The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest single mass of ice on Earth. It is divided by the Transantarctic Mountains into two unequal sections, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) and the smaller West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS).

1. The Antarctic ice sheet covers almost 14 million km2 and containing 30 million km3 of ice. Around 90% of the fresh water on the Earth's surface is held in the ice sheet, and, if melted, would cause sea levels to rise by 61.1 metres.

2. The EAIS rests on a major land mass but the bed of the WAIS is, in places, more than 2,500 meters below sea level.

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