The current pace of global heating risks unleashing “rapid and unstoppable” sea level rise from the melting of Antarctica’s vast ice sheet, a new research paper has warned. Unless planet-heating emissions are swiftly reduced to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, the world faces a situation where there is an “abrupt jump” in the pace of Antarctic ice loss around 2060, the study states, fueling sea level rise and placing coastal cities in greater peril.
Guardian 5th May 2021 read more »
The rise in sea level caused by the melting of Antarctic ice will become “rapid and unstoppable” unless countries make drastic cuts in emissions, a study has found. The ice sheet will reach a tipping point by 2060 when the melting rate will sharply increase under the policies being pursued by governments, scientists said. Summer temperatures above zero over Antarctica would mean rain falling instead of snow, accelerating the collapse of coastal ice shelves holding back glaciers. This could result in a tenfold increase in the continent’s annual contribution to sea level rise by the end of the century, from 0.43mm a year now to nearly 5mm a year by 2100.
Times 6th May 2021 read more »
Holding global temperature rise to no more than 1.5C – rather than following current emissions pledges – could halve the sea level rise from melting land ice by the year 2100, according to new research. The Nature study, which brings together 84 authors from 62 institutions, projects future sea level rise using the latest models and future pathways. It estimates that, if current pledges to reduce emissions are met, land-ice loss will drive around 25cm of sea level rise by 2100. However, this falls to 13cm if warming is limited to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. The authors note that mountain glaciers and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica will respond to the lower warming levels in different ways. Greenland ice sheet mass losses would reduce by 70%, while the contribution from Antarctica is relatively consistent across all warming levels due to the “competing processes” of melting ice and increased snowfall.
Carbon Brief 5th May 2021 read more »
Independent 5th May 2021 read more »