Climate Model Predicts West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Melt Rapidly

Climate Model Predicts West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Melt Rapidly l The New York Times

By: Justin Gillis, March 30, 2016

  • The great West Antarctic ice sheet, larger than Mexico, is thought to be capable of raising the sea level by 12 feet or more should it break up. Researchers long assumed the worst effects would take hundreds — if not thousands — of years to occur. Now, new research suggests the disaster scenario could play out much sooner. Continued high emissions of heat-trapping gases could launch a disintegration of the ice sheet within decades, heaving enough water into the ocean to raise the sea level as much as three feet by the end of this century.