Warm Water Rising From the Depths: Much of Antarctica Now Under Threat of Melt

23 02 2015


Antarctica. A seemingly impregnable fortress of cold. Ice mountains rising 2,100 meters high. Circumpolar winds raging out from this mass of chill frost walling the warm air out. And a curtain of sea ice insulating the surface air and mainland ice sheets from an increasingly warm world. A world that is now on track to experience one of its hottest years on record.

Antarctica, the coldest place on Earth, may well seem impregnable to this warming. But like any other fortress, it has its vulnerable spots. In this case, a weak underbelly. For in study after study, we keep finding evidence that warm waters are rising up from the abyss surrounding the chill and frozen continent. And the impact and risk to Antarctica’s glacial ice mountains is significant and growing.

Rapid Break-up of Ice From Filchner Ronne Ice Shelf in Jan 2010

(Collapse of ice structure at the leading edge of the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf adjacent to a rapidly warming Weddell Sea…

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One response

23 02 2015

The big question is how long will it take to raise sea levels to dangerous levels within timescales that we need to do something about? The closest the article gets to answering this is “Add in a two century loss of the Amundsen glaciers — Pine Island and Thwaites — and we easily exceed the three foot mark by 2100.”

I’m not sure why we would be adding in two centuries’ worth of loss from Amundsen to get to 2100, but ignoring that, under what forecast scenario is this based on? “Predicted greenhouse gas levels of 550 to 600 ppm CO2e by the middle of this century …” implies he is using RCP8.5 (the highest SCARIEST scenario), which we know won’t happen due to Peak Fossils.

So what are we left with? – some time before 2050, we are going to have to be planning for approximately a foot of sea level rise. Don’t forget that TPTB and IPCC certainly know about Peak Fossils, so they know that all the IPCC forecasts are much too high.

Compared to the impact of Peak Fossils, this is just another SCARY story from Scribbler.

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