Scientists Warn of Accelerated Melting of Antarctic Ice Sheet in the West
A recent study by researchers from the British Antarctic Survey has revealed accelerated melting of the ice sheet in western Antarctica. According to their findings, human control over the fate of this massive ice shelf is slipping away, primarily due to rising ocean temperatures. Even if greenhouse gas emissions were significantly reduced, and climate warming remained within the 1.5-degree Celsius threshold compared to pre-industrial levels, the results would still be grim.
Caitlin Noten, the lead author of the study, stated, “Researchers have every reason to anticipate that the ice melting will lead to rising sea levels, expected to reach up to one meter by the end of the century.”
She added, “The melting of the ice shelf in western Antarctica is one of the climate change effects that we must adapt to. Millions of people worldwide currently reside in low-lying coastal areas, and some coastal communities will have to either build homes further inland or abandon them.”
Noten pointed out that even if emissions were significantly reduced, it would make little difference in the current century’s ice sheet melting process. However, it could have significant long-term impacts because the ice may take centuries, if not millennia, to respond to climate change.
In their recent study, researchers anticipated a substantial acceleration in the rate of ice melting in western Antarctica in the coming decades, leading to rising sea levels. This is a concerning scenario, even if nations worldwide commit to reducing climate warming.