Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn state University and one of the world’s foremost climate scientists, has warned that vulnerable island states may need to consider evacuating their populations within a decade, due to a much faster than anticipated melting of the world’s ice sheets, reports Jo Confino at the UK Guardian. It had been expected that island nations would have several decades to adapt to rising sea levels. Weeks earlier, though, the National Snow and Ice Data Center disclosed that Arctic sea ice had dramatically shrunk to a record low in September. “We know Arctic sea ice is declining faster than the models predict,” Mann said, adding. “When you look at the major Greenland and the west Antarctic ice sheets, which are critical from the standpoint of sea level rise, once they begin to melt we really start to see sea level rises accelerate. The models have typically predicted that will not happen for decades, but the measurements that are coming in tell us it is already happening, so once again we are decades ahead of schedule.”
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