Containing some 90% of the world’s glacial water reserves, Antarctica has long been thought to be resistant to the melting that has characterized the ice cap at its opposite Arctic pole.
However, troubling new evidence indicates that these vast ice sheets could become unstable within this century and that they have in fact already seen periods of rapid decline.
Data from a collaborative geological research program known as ANDRILL, involving scientists from Germany, Italy, New Zealand and the United States is now indicating that a sea level rise of at least 61 meters could occur if ice sheets in Antarctica and in Greenland were to melt completely.
Examining 20 million years of data from an 1,100-meter long ice core sample, chief US scientist Dr. David Harwood observed that the ice sheets appear to dynamically increase and receded over time, while US geologist Dr. Robert DeConto went on to note the grave implications of current ice instability, saying, “Our models may be dramatically underestimating how much worse it's going to get….
We're seeing ice retreat faster and more dramatically than any model predicts.”
Drs. Harwood, DeConto and ANDRILL international colleagues, we appreciate your detailed work in bringing this factual evidence to light.
Let us act sustainably now to preserve the Antarctic and all life in our global ecosphere. Speaking at a November 2009 videoconference in Washington, D.C., USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai again highlighted the real urgency of global warming, while also reminding of humanity’s capacity to halt it.