1 thought on “Antarctica Glacial Melt: Michael Mann on MSNBC

  1. The situation is even worse than described here. A lot of attention has been paid to the two papers that told of the unstoppable deterioration of the West Antarctic glaciers. However, at around the same time another paper came out that described a similar threat to the far larger eastern ice mass:

    “Until recently, only West Antarctica was considered unstable, but now we know that its 10 times bigger counterpart in the East might also be at risk,” study co- author Anders Levermann, a researcher at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, said in a statement.

    “Most of West Antarctica’s marine ice sheet lies on an inland-sloping bed2 and is thereby prone to a marine ice sheet instability3, 4, 5. A similar topographic configuration is found in large parts of East Antarctica, which holds marine ice equivalent to 19 m of global sea-level rise6, that is, more than five times that of West Antarctica…
    Strong melting underneath adjacent ice shelves with similar bathymetry8 indicates the ice sheet’s sensitivity to climatic perturbations. The stability of the Wilkes marine ice sheet has not been the subject of any comprehensive assessment of future sea level. Using recently improved topographic data6 in combination with ice-dynamic simulations, we show here that the removal of a specific coastal ice volume equivalent to less than 80 mm of global sea-level rise at the margin of the Wilkes Basin destabilizes the regional ice flow and leads to a self-sustained discharge of the entire basin and a global sea-level rise of 3–4 m. Our results are robust with respect to variation in ice parameters, forcing details and model resolution as well as increased surface mass balance, indicating that East Antarctica may become a large contributor to future sea-level rise on timescales beyond a century.”

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