The collapse of a major polar ice sheet will not raise global sea levels as much as previous projections suggest, a team of scientists has calculated.
Writing in Science, the researchers said that the demise of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) would result in a sea level rise of 3.3m (10 ft).
“It has been hypothesised for more than 30 years now that the WAIS is inherently unstable,” he explained.
And how many other global catastrophes have been forecast over the last 30 years? Seems like a new one nearly every week. The article goes on –
“A sea level rise of just 1.5m would displace 17 million people in Bangladesh alone,”
But the author wants us to worry about 200 years from now.
In other words, if the global average was one metre, then places like New York could expect to see a rise of 1.25m. Responding to Professor Bamber’s paper in Science, British Antarctic Survey science leader Dr David Vaughan described the findings as “quite sound”. “But for me, the most crucial question is not solely about the total amount of ice in West Antarctica, because that might take several centuries to be lost to the ocean,” he told BBC News. “The crucial question is how much ice could be lost in 100-200 years; that’s the sea level rise we have to understand and plan for.”Even with this new assessment the loss of a fraction of WAIS over those timescales would have serious consequences and costs that we’ve only really just begun to understand.”