Antarctic Ice Sheet Starts Collapsing: Unstoppable; Seas to Rise 12-15 Feet

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Satellite radar composite view of Antarctica. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is penned in by mountain ranges and the floating ice of the Ross Ice Shelf. Most of the WAIS rests on rock that is below sea level. American Institute of Physics.

West Antarctic Ice Sheet Starts Collapsing:
Unstoppable; Seas to Rise 12-15 Feet
, say two new studies, reports Suzanne Goldenberg at the UK Guardian, changing coastlines worldwide. Melting is unstoppable, and happening far faster than previously thought.

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OO Although the Amundsen Sea region is only a fraction of the whole West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the region contains enough ice to raise global sea levels by 4 feet (1.2 meters). Credit: NASA/GSFC/SVS

The Thwaites Glacier acts as a plug for the rest of the ice sheet. Climate change is warming waters, which are melting the underbelly the glacier. It could melt completely in 200 years, causing seas to rise 2 feet; the rest of the sheet, unplugged, will follow, raising seas another 10-13 feet.

This new information means that by 2100, seas will more likely rise closer to 2 or 3 feet, rather than the lower Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates of a foot or less.

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here. This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is this year!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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