Antarctic Ice Sheet Loss Expected to Affect Future Climate Change

Antarctic Ice Sheet Loss Expected to Affect Future Climate Change

Research simulates dramatic climate impacts for future Antarctic ice sheet meltIn a new climate modeling study that looked at the impacts of accelerated ice melt from the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) on future climate, a team of climate scientists led by Alan Condron at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), reports that future ice-sheet melt is expected to have significant effects on global climate. The study predicts how future climate conditions could change under high and low greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, while accounting for accelerated melting of the AIS. Scientists have long recognized that future meltwater input from the Antarctic will affect the Southern Ocean and global climate, but ice-sheet processes are not currently included in even the most state-of-the-art climate prediction simulations. “In the ice sheet models run by my co-authors Rob DeConto and David Pollard, large parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) rapidly collapse about 100 years from now,” says Condron. This subsurface warming could make the ice sheet much more unstable and accelerate rates of sea level rise beyond current projections,” Condron says.

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