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'By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it'

 

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Giant Antarctic glacier beyond point of no return, research says

RATE THIS! +50
Posted in Science on 13th Jan, 2014 12:00 AM by AlexMuller

Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier, one of the biggest single contributors to world sea-level rise, is melting irreversibly and could add as much as a centimetre (0.4 inches) to ocean levels in 20 years, a study said Sunday.

 

The glacier "has started a phase of self-sustained retreat and will irreversibly continue its decline," said Gael Durand, a glaciologist with France's Grenoble Alps University.
 
Durand and an international team used three different models to forecast the glacier's future based on the "grounding line," which is the area under water where the ice shelf—a sea-floating extension of the continent-covering ice sheet—meets land.
 
This line has receded by about 10 kilometres (six miles) in the past decade.The grounding line "is probably engaged in an unstable 40-km (25-mile) retreat," said the study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
 
A massive river of ice, the glacier by itself is responsible for 20 percent of total ice loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet today.
 
On average, it shed 20 billion tonnes of ice annually from 1992-2011, a loss that is likely to increase up to and above 100 billion tonnes each year, said the study.
 
This is equivalent to 3.5-10 millimetres (0.14-0.4 inches) of global average sea-level rise over the next 20 years.
 
The global mean sea level rose by 3.2 mm in 2010—itself a near-doubling from the rate of two decades earlier.
 
The European Space Agency said last month that the West Antarctic ice sheet was shedding ice at a much faster rate than before—currently at about 150 cubic kilometres (36 cubic miles) per year.

Tags: climate changeglobal warmingCO2greenhouse gasesAntarcticaPine Island Glacier

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-13
+2
Bad news. We just had hopes that things are getting better and that many efforts are in place to reduce global warming. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-13
+1
Climate scientists are worried and monitor carefully the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, as continued losses could threaten coastal cities with dangerously high sea levels.
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-13
+0
This standstill in global temperatures rises has been the subject of intense debate among scientists .....no one knows Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-13
+2
Last year the panel appointed by the National Research Council reported that global warming carries risk of deep changes. However they also some worst-case fears about climate change that have entered the popular imagination
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-13
+0
Panel warned that nasty climate surprises have occurred already, and more seem inevitable, perhaps within decades - take care, make a note Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-13
+1
It is a god thing that there are international talks on this topic and no one would like to stop further talks and agreements. However, this remains very complex and difficult and we should not relax this effort in a view of this analysis
6 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-13
+1
The U.N. climate talks were launched two decades ago after scientists warned that humans were warming the planet by pumping CO2 - they need to continue and we all know this Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-13
+0
At a recent conference the problem was that China and India clashed with the developed countries by insisting that rich countries continue to operate under stricter standards than poor countries. Avoiding impacts on economic growth seem to be the main goal for all involved
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-13
+0
This disagreement is typical of the so far unsuccessful diplomatic effort to reduce the heat-trapping carbon emissions that scientists say are warming the planet. Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-13
+0
The talks had failed to deliver substantial progress just weeks after an international panel of scientists warned about the growing consensus on human-caused global warming Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-13
+0
After all, there was a compromise. The compromise was to prepare "contributions," rather than "commitments" for the new deal - this leave countries with more options in what kind of emissions targets to propose. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-13
+0
This was a big disappointment for environment, development groups and young people - they walked out of the UN climate talks in protest at what they say is the slow speed and lack of ambition Reply
Reply


 

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