The Antarctic Ice Sheet has a global catastrophe waiting to happen.
As global temperatures continue to rise due to climate degradation today, water trapped in the form of Antarctic ice melts into the ocean, raising sea levels to the point of having a significant impact. Important to coastal communities, even in the next few decades.
Over the next 1,000 years, our best forecasts gave rise to 3.2 meters (10.5 feet), but new research suggests that even this worrisome figure may be a little more optimistic. Based on the revised forecasts, the next millennium increase could be one meter higher, resulting in an additional 30 percent.
As a result, it will have serious implications for how we simulate the effects of future climate degradation.
“All sea level rise forecasts published due to the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are based on climate models, whether forecasts extend towards the end of this century or longer.”; That in the future will have to be modified to be higher because In their work, ”said Jerry Mitrovica, a Harvard Earth and Planetary scientist.
It all has to do with the so-called ejection mechanism. As the ice sheet melts, the Antarctic rock, which is now below sea level, will rise and expel the surrounding melting water out into the ocean. It is additional expelled water that will be responsible for the extra meter according to the recalculation.
“The magnitude of the impact shocked us,” said Linda Pan, a Harvard Earth and Planetary scientist. “Previous studies that considered the mechanism abolished this study as insignificant.”
Pan, her colleague Evelyn Powell and their team first noticed the impact when they worked on different sea level change projects. As they made the calculations, they noticed that there was more water excretion mechanism than they expected, so they shifted their focus to figure out what was going on.
The mantle under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is shallow and has a low viscosity, according to several studies. This means that it should rebound rapidly and push the dissolved water away. This has been known for a while. But their contribution to sea-level rise has been estimated to be minimal.
However, the team’s calculations added the mantle’s complex three-dimensional viscosity structure and used it to simulate past and future sea level changes caused by the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet.
During the last inter-peninsula, when the contribution to sea level rise from the collapse of the Antarctic ice sheet was approximately 3 to 4 meters, the team found that the water repellent mechanism added one meter over the range. 1000 years
“Regardless of the circumstances of the West Antarctic ice sheet collapse, we often find that one meter of sea level rise occurs,” Pan said.
When modeling a future collapse, they found similar contributions. But it’s not a problem that we can kick down the road. The team’s calculations suggest that as we add repulsion mechanisms, we will see a projected 18 percent rise in sea level by the end of this century.
These findings strongly point to the need for urgent action to achieve the carbon neutrality targets outlined in the Paris Agreement before we pass the point of no return.
“Sea levels don’t stop when the ice stops melting,” Pan said. “The damage we do to our shoreline will continue for centuries.”
The team’s research was published in Scientific breakthrough.