Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Thought You Were “Safe?”

Posted by feww on January 22, 2008

Think Again! Antarctic thaw is Accelerating.

Here’s the nightmare scenario in a nutshell:

You were told that the ice sheet in Antarctica won’t be a major issue as far as far rising sea levels are concerned—anyway not for thousands of years. Right?

Wrong!

Antarctica with an area of 14.4 million sq km is about 1.5 times the size of the United States (9,826,630 sq km) and contains enough ice on the ground to raise world sea levels by almost 60 meters if it all melted.

iceberg_nasa-2.jpg
Earth’s Shrinking Antarctic Ice Sheet

Credit: Ben Holt Sr., GRACE team, DLR

The researchers working in the Antarctic have proposed a scenario whereby some of the ice on land can slide into the ocean and melt quicker, thanks to the newly-discovered large lakes deep below the ice surface which could lubricate their descent.

In a more compelling scenario, the ice need not melt completely. An earthquake could break up the ice sheet into smaller pieces which then slide into the ocean aided by the lake effect. Once the ice enters the ocean it displaces the water and sea level will rise dramatically (with similar devastating effects as in the first scenario, but on a much accelerated timescale) covering the worlds coastal cities and low-laying areas.

“There is preliminary data from the ice over these lakes… that shows that the ice speed is increasing,” Jan-Gunnar Winther, head of the Norwegian Polar Institute said. Read full report.

Related Links:
Antarctic Ice Sheet
Hidden Lakes Speed Ice Flow Into Ocean, May Disrupt Climate

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