Antarctica may lift sea level sooner than previously thought
A new study has revealed that Antarctica may raise the sea level faster than previously thought posing threat to the coasts and coastal megacities.
Anders Levermann said that if greenhouse gases continue to rise as before, ice discharge from Antarctica could raise the global ocean by an additional 1 to 37 centimeters in this century alone.
While Antarctica currently contributes less than 10 percent to global sea level rise and was a minor contributor compared to the thermal expansion of the warming oceans and melting mountain glaciers, it would be Greenland and especially the Antarctic ice sheets with their huge volume of ice that are expected to be the major contributors to future long-term sea level rise.
The marine ice sheets in West Antarctica alone have the potential to elevate sea level by several meters over several centuries.
While the study signified an important step towards a better understanding of Antarctica in a changing climate and its influence on sea level change within the 21st century, major modeling challenges still remain, datasets of Antarctic bedrock topography, for instance, are still inadequate and some physical processes of interaction between ice and ocean cannot be sufficiently simulated yet.
(Posted on 14-08-2014)