The West Antarctic glaciers are breaking up with us


It’s Monday, and you probably wanted to ease into the week with a post about cute animals or something. Instead, today scientists broke the news that the West Antarctic ice sheet is now in irreversible collapse, meaning a likely 10 to 15 foot global sea-level rise in coming centuries.

Before you get cranking on that ark (maybe you can have those cute animals after all!), let’s take a deep breath. There’s still uncertainty about how cataclysmic this particular cataclysm is. New York Times blogger Andy Revkin points out that “collapse” is a relative term in geological affairs. Both sets of researchers behind the two separate studies, upcoming in the journals Science and Geophysical Research Letters, agree that we could have a good century or two of continued incremental rise before the melt starts to really speed up. It might take anywhere between 200 and 1,000 years before the ice in…

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News from the Antarctic suggests global warming may be accelerating, with the Wilkins Ice Shelf breaking free from the Antarctica. There are fears that as the ice shelf continues to break up and melt, sea levels may rise.

See further reports below: