Monday, March 7, 2011

Faint Hope with Antarctic Melting

A new study suggests that West Antarctic ice may be more stable than previously believed since scientists have uncovered evidence that parts of the ice sheet survived the last interglacial warming period some 125 thousand years ago.  The results of the new study don’t appear to accord well with other studies, however, which show a sea level rise consistent with a melting West Antarctic ice sheet during the last interglacial.  What the true interpretation is will have to be determined by future studies. 

David Sugden at the University of Edinburgh who headed the new study says that melting around the edges of the ice sheet is likely to occur regardless of whether the central parts can survive global warming.  The melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet, plus the melting in Greenland, is already on course to double the sea rise predictions made by the IPCC in 2007.

Best to trade your sea side cottage for one further inland.  And those folks living just south of me on the Fraser delta might want to raise their dykes and levees up two or three metres….


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