West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting

Through recent simulations, British Antarctic Survey scientists predict that the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet will be nearer irreversible, contributing to a rise in global sea levels by up to five meters.

Using the UK’s national supercomputer to study how the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting, the research indicates that even if we limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, it will melt three times faster than it did during the 20th century. The British Antarctic Survey warns that we’ve lost control over the situation and that preserving the ice sheet’s historical state is no longer possible. This ice sheet is a significant contributor to rising sea levels and could raise global sea levels by up to five meters.

The research presents different scenarios for the 21st century, showing that even under the most ambitious emissions reduction targets, the ice sheet will continue to melt significantly. Despite these findings, the study emphasises the importance of continuing efforts to reduce fossil fuel dependence to slow down long-term sea level rise, as slower changes are easier to adapt to. It is a stark reminder of the urgency of climate action, and the need for immediate global cooperation regarding climate change.

Via: Science Daily