A new study from a team of British scientists collaborating from Oxford and Cambridge Universities has found that global warming related changes to aspects of Antarctic glaciers known as grounding lines are speeding ice sheet disintegration, which in is forecast to bring significant global sea level rise.
Noting that in 2004, Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier was already melting 25% faster than 30 years previously, the researchers state that this glacier likely passed a tipping point in 1996. If the same happens to neighboring Thwaite’s Glacier, the world could easily be facing increased sea levels of 52 centimeters.
Lead author Dr. Richard Katz of Oxford University's Department of Earth Sciences cautioned of a further disintegration, that of the entire Western Antarctic shelf, as he stated, “The volume of ice locked up in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is equivalent to a sea level rise of around 3.3 meters.
Our model shows how instability in the grounding line, caused by gradual climatic changes, has the potential to reach a 'tipping point' where disintegration of the ice sheet could occur.
He concluded by saying, “We should be concerned about tipping points in West Antarctica and we should do a lot more work to investigate.”
Dr. Katz and all collaborating scientists at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, we appreciate your insights into the impact of global warming on the ice sheets of the Antarctic. May humanity realize now the growing urgency of our situation and adopt lifestyles that save our planet. Concerned for the welfare of all beings,
Supreme Master Ching Hai once again spoke of the the crisis of our warming Earth as well as the way to avert it during an August 2008 videoconference with our Association members in Canada.