Antarctic melt and long term sea level rise – In the news

New modelling of Antarctic ice-sheet loss paints a grim picture of long-term sea level rise.

The new paper published in Nature by researchers from New Zealand, Australia and the US, used computer simulations to estimate how Antarctica will react to different warming scenarios in the future.

Credit : Nicholas Golledge, Victoria University of Wellington

Although there are uncertainties in the modelling, the simulations suggest that atmospheric warming of 2 degrees Celsius, coupled with prolonged ocean warming of 0.5 degrees Celsius above present, could lead to the loss of 80 to 85 per cent of all floating ice in Antarctica over the coming centuries.

“Missing the 2°C target will result in an Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise that could be up to 10 metres higher than today,” said lead author Dr Nicholas Golledge, a senior research fellow at Victoria University’s Antarctic Research Centre, in a media release.

“The stakes are obviously very high-10 percent of the world’s population lives within 10 metres of present sea level.”

The research has been widely covered in the national and intentional media. Examples include:

Radio New Zealand: Antarctica’s contribution to sea level rise
Dominion Post: Wellington faces another half-metre of sea level rise, warns scientist
3 News: Dire warnings over Antarctic ice melt
New Zealand Herald: New climate study bad news for Antarctica
Science Alert: Catastrophic ice shelf collapse would see oceans rise for millennia, say experts
PhysOrg: The lasting legacy of climate change
Mashable: Cut carbon emissions now, or risk losing most of Antarctic ice sheet later, study finds