Despite recent claims that Antarctica is adding ice, doom and gloom is not far off for humanity, a study says.
You’ve probably heard a recent report that Antarctica was adding more ice than it was losing, which cheered many people — unfortunately, things aren’t looking good at all in reality, a new study says.
A study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research says that there is nothing that stops the melting of Antarctic ice no matter what model is used, according to a Washington Post report.
Johannes Feldmann, one of the scientists, said it wasn’t for lack of trying.
“There are troughs and channels and all this stuff, there’s a lot of topography that actually has the potential to slow down or stop the instability, but it doesn’t,” he said according to the Post report.
They used a sophisticated model to determine what would happen if the glaciers fully destabilized, and they found that the retreat would continue throughout the icy continent.
Their paper comes to the alarming conclusion that “if the Amundsen Sea Sector is destabilized, then the entire marine part of West Antarctica will be discharged into the ocean.”
There are three ice sheets worldwide that threaten us with huge sea level rises. East Antarctica is the largest, which would add a whopping 60 meters if it melted. Greenland comes in a distant second at 6 meters of sea level rise — still devastating — and West Antarctica is the smallest. However, it is also the most vulnerable to rapid change.
The findings are an indication that despite the cheering news that Antarctica is still adding ice, that it may not do so for much longer, and that the long term prospects for the Earth are not good.