Monday, January 09, 2017

Antarctic Past Points to Sea Level Threat

Evidence of Antarctic ice sheet melting and sea level rise almost 15,000 years ago raises alarm over current climate change dangers.

Global warming is causing land-based ice to melt in parts of Antarctica such as the Weddell Sea region.  (Image Credit: NASA/Jeremy Harbeck via Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
Scientists have identified a fearful lesson from the past.  Some 14,700 years ago, the Antarctic continent experienced a warm phase, when ice sheets melted and the global sea level rose by three meters.

And they warn that it could happen again, as conditions in the southern ocean that triggered the bygone event are being repeated.

Changes in ocean-atmosphere circulation have left the southern ocean stratified − a cold layer at the surface, and a warmer ocean lapping the base of the ice below.

And this is making the ice sheets melt more strongly, the scientists say in Scientific Reports journal.

“The changes that are currently taking place in a disturbing manner resemble those 14,700 years ago,” says one of the authors, Michael Weber, an expert in paleoclimatology, geology and oceanography at the University of Bonn, Germany.

Read more at Antarctic Past Points to Sea Level Threat

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