December discussion at the American Geophysical Union suggested that the massive Thwaites glacier in Antarctica, the size of Florida, could plop into the ocean in the next 10 years, with the potential to set in train further collapses, raising sea level by as much as six feet. Thwaites itself could raise the level by two feet. A two meter sea level rise is half of everything the UN scientists in the IPCC report were expecting by the end of the century, which means they likely were way too conservative. One thing they could not foresee is that the South Pole has heated up 3 times as fast as other areas on earth in recent decades.
Source: Don’t Look Down: Antarctica’s Doomsday Glacier could Shatter in 10 years, Endangering 1 Bn. in Coastal Cities
Should all West Antarctica’s glaciers ever collapse, there is no coastal city in the world that would not, over time, be swamped at ruinous cost to life and economies. The consensus of glaciologists used to be that it would take centuries of global heating before glaciers the size of Thwaites shattered and collapsed, but so rapid and unexpected has been the loss of sea ice at the opposite end of the earth in the Arctic, and so sudden was the loss of Larsen B that it is now considered possible it could happen rapidly in Antarctica, too. Ice loss in the Arctic barely affects sea levels because it mostly forms at sea. Antarctic ice, however, is mostly on land so any melting adds to sea levels.
Source: Scientists watch giant ‘doomsday’ glacier in Antarctica with concern | Antarctica | The Guardian
Antarctica’s ice sheet is melting at a rapidly increasing rate, now pouring more than 200 billion tonnes of ice into the ocean annually and raising sea levels half a millimetre every year, a team of 80 scientists has reported.
The rate of melting has tripled in the past decade, the study concluded. If the acceleration continues, some of scientists’ worst fears about rising oceans could be realised, leaving low-lying cities and communities with less time to prepare than they had hoped.
via Antarctic ice loss triples in decade sparking fears of serious trouble
Sev Kender | (The Conversation) | – – The vast expanse of the Antarctic is a region of the world …
Source: Warm waters melting Antarctic ice shelves for 1st time in 7,000 years | Informed Comment