November 30, 2023

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Climate: West Antarctica collapse ‘inevitable’ – warning of global consequences

Climate: West Antarctica collapse ‘inevitable’ – warning of global consequences

No matter how hard humanity tries to reduce carbon emissions, the West Antarctic ice sheet will “inevitably” melt, a process that will take centuries but will eventually change the map of the world due to a significant rise in sea levels.

“It appears we have lost control of the melting ice in West Antarctica,” he warned. press release Caitlin Naughton of the British Antarctic Expedition, who led the study published in The nature of climate change.

“We should have taken action on climate change decades ago.”

Warming waters in the Amundsen Sea, part of the Southern Ocean surrounding the White Continent, are melting the additional ice sheet in West Antarctica.

This layer, known as the ice bank, acts as a barrier that holds back continental glaciers. Without this dam, nothing could stop the glaciers from flowing into the sea.

The study authors used the British National Supercomputer to run simulations of ocean warming under four different scenarios.

Even in a scenario in which the international community achieves the Paris target, according to which the temperature increase by the end of the century should not exceed 1.5 degrees, the melting of the ice bank is three times faster in the 21st century than it was in the 21st century. Twenty

The planet’s average temperature has already risen by about 1.2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and the commitments made by governments around the world so far are not enough to achieve this goal.

“It’s too late now”

“If we want to keep it [την τράπεζα πάγου της Δ.Ανταρκτικής] “We should have taken action on climate change decades ago,” Naughton said.

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“The upside is that by recognizing this situation before it happens, the world will have more time to adapt to the coming water level rise.”

The study did not examine how much ice would be lost and how quickly. However, Naughton mentioned in News agency The area under consideration contains enough ice to raise ocean levels by about 1.8 meters and flood vast coastal areas.

If the continental glaciers in West Antarctica also melt, in addition to the floating ice, the rise could reach five metres.

Of course, the threat is long-term, as it will take centuries for all that ice to melt.

West and East Antarctica are separated by the Transantarctic Mountains (NASA)

He pointed out in his speech that the results of the study “need to be treated with caution, given that different mathematical models, and even different groups of the same model, may give different results.” Reuters Thiago Sijabinacci-Dotto of the National Oceanographic Center in Britain, who was not involved in the study.

But he added that the findings are consistent with previous research on the imminent collapse of the Amundsen Sea ice shelf. The area includes the Thwaites Glacier, also known as the “Glacier of Ruin” due to the sea level rise its melting would cause.

West Antarctica’s ice is “doomed,” Eric Renaud of the University of California, Irving, who was also not involved in the study, told The Associated Press. “The damage has already been done,” he added.

However, researchers stressed the need to intensify efforts to reduce global warming.

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As Naughton commented: “We should not stop working to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. What we do now will help slow the rise in the long term. The slower the level rises, the easier it will be for governments and societies to adapt, even if they cannot.” Who stopped him?