It is the first time we can say that if you look at the entire ice sheet, it is losing mass.
Antarctica is Earth's largest reservoir of fresh water.
We can now see Antarctica melting. We have a number for the ice sheet. It's a big step toward understanding how the sea level is going to change.
As it turns out if you can measure changes in distance between the two satellites, you can get information about what's underneath and what's causing those changes. And you can get information when you fly over the ice sheet about the mass change of the ice sheet.
The overall balance of the Antarctic ice is dependent on regional changes in the interior and those in the coastal areas. The changes we are seeing are probably a good indicator of the changing climatic conditions there.
This is the first study to indicate the total mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet is in significant decline.
The ice sheet is losing mass at a significant rate. It's a good indicator of how the climate is changing. It tells us we have to pay attention.