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Antarctica Is in Trouble - Gizmodo

Antarctica Is in Trouble - Gizmodo

Antarctica Is in Trouble - Gizmodo
Aug 12, 2022 1 min, 17 secs

Two studies published in the journal Nature this week take a look at how climate change is shaking up conditions in ice sheets in Antarctica, spelling out the grim potential future of sea level rise.

The first study looks at how Antarctica’s two ice sheets are affected by what’s going on with their ice shelves, which serve as protective buttresses.

“What we found is that Antarctica’s ice shelves have been crumbling away at the edges,” said Greene.

“​​Over the past quarter century, the shrinking and weakening of ice shelves has allowed Antarctica’s massive glaciers to speed up and increase their contribution to sea level rise,” said Greene.

A second study out this week looks at the potential fate of an incredibly important ice sheet—the East Antarctic ice sheet, the biggest of the continent’s two ice sheets and the largest reservoir of freshwater on Earth.

To get a better sense of what the future of the East Antarctic ice sheet could look like, Stokes and his co-authors did a review of previous work on how the ice sheet responded to past warm periods and current levels of change, added in with “a bit of new number-crunching based on computer simulations that predict how much this giant ice sheet might contribute to future sea-level rise,” he said.

Letting the world warm up beyond the bounds of the Paris Agreement, the study finds, could mean that the East Antarctica ice sheet could make sea levels rise by as much as 3 to 10 feet (1 to 2 meters) by 2300.


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