Although the East Antarctic Ice Sheet contains enough ice to increase global sea levels 60 meters if melted, possibilities that this would happen in the next few centuries had long been ruled out as surface temperatures across the region are well below freezing.
However, new findings show that parts of the ice sheet are being affected by climate change more rapidly than previously believed. A team of scientists from Australia's Macquarie University and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization spent three summers in this remote region, where they used new technology to measure how previous climate warming and sea level rise 20,000 years ago had affected the region.
They found boulders which had been deposited during a time when the ice cover was greater than today. Using a particle accelerator to measure long-lived radioactive isotopes, they implemented a new technique called cosmogenic surface exposure dating to identify the amount of time since the boulders were freed from the ice.
The researchers determined that ice thickness on the Lambert Glacier had decreased several thousand years earlier than previous estimates, and concluded that the East Antarctic ice sheets are much more sensitive to climate change than current models suggest.
Thank you, scientists, for your dedication in gathering this data from the Antarctic region to expand our understanding of the threats imposed by climate change. May we all be motivated to implement the most efficient measures to rapidly reduce emissions and preserve our beautiful planet.
Speaking as on many previous occasions with concern for humanity, Supreme Master Ching Hai emphasized during a March 2009 videoconference in California, USA the critical nature of planetary warming, while offering a way to alleviate the situation.