West Antarctic Ice Sheet News

12 03 2015

Azimuth

You may have heard the news: two teams of scientists claiming that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been irreversibly destablized, leading to a slow-motion process that in some number of centuries will cause 3 meters of sea level rise.

“Today we present observational evidence that a large section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has gone into irreversible retreat,” an author of one of the papers, Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said at a news conference recently. “It has passed the point of no return.”

A little context might help.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is the ice sheet that covers Antarctica on the Western Hemisphere side of the Transantarctic Mountains. The bed of this ice sheet lies well below sea level. The ice gradually flows into floating ice shelves such as the Ross Ice Shelf and Ronne Ice Shelf, and also glaciers that…

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13 03 2015
Anthony William O'brien

It was not that long ago that the PIG TW was described as the weak underbelly of the WAIS and now it is described as being in the early stages of collapse. Now the Aurora and Wilkes sub basins are being described as the weak underbelly of the EAIS (EL Pierce and others Characterizing the sediment provenance of the East Antarctic’s Weak Underbelly)

Scared yet?

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