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Climate Policy Holds Major Sway for Future of Antarctica Ice


Climate Policy Holds Major Sway for Future of Antarctica Ice

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

If countries act fast to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research, there is still time to curtail the most cataclysmic Antarctic ice melt.

However, according to new research published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience, if fossil fuel consumption maintains its current rate, Antarctica may experience a widespread collapse of its ice shelves, which could spur significant sea level rise.


Which estimate do we believe? Well considering that we have consistently seen previous estimates revised upwards to reflect the increased rate of melt/warming. I'd err on the side of panic if I were you.

It was during the Bush/Cheney corporate coup that Antarctica was still being described as being immune to global warming for another thousand years. A decade later not only has it been proven irrefutably (by satellite laser measurements) that the interior of the continent experiences melt each summer (once thought impossible for centuries yet to come) but now we are being warned of a possible catastrophic melt caused by the collapse of the surrounding ring of ice shelves that keep the interior ice cap from starting to slide down into the sea. Antarctic glaciers weren't supposed to slide, they were miles high and believed 'eternally' frozen. Well oops man, they ain't no more.

Every year there is melt water deep into the continent where no standing water has any place being. Think of an ice cube freshly taken from the freezer. Its surface is dry to the touch. Give it a few minutes exposure to room temperature and the surface becomes wet as it melts. That is now happening to Antarctica every summer.

Suddenly (a decade or so is like instantly in geologic terms) Antarctica can melt... and melt fast! Not all of it at once but mostly that ring of floating ice surrounding the land. When that goes the interior ice starts sliding into the sea like it does these days in Greenland.

By 2050 - a possibility of 10 feet sea level rise? That's only thirty five years for a helluva bad tourist season at the beach. Um? The new beach much further inland. We call that catastrophe.

My question is when that happens... then what?

Sorry kiddies we all f'd up as a species. I won't be there to see it but in 35 years ... the catastrophes will just be beginning. Sorry 'bout that kids. Looks like recycling wasn't enough.


10 feet of melt will say goodbye to many of the major cities of the world. Shanghai has the population of Australia---bad luck Australia! Add in around 13 million from Manila and possibly the same number from Bangkok, and then there is Calcutta and about 150 million-plus from Bangladesh............And we think we have a refugee crisis now, with only 12 million displaced by war........? Ah well, with the River Thames lapping halfway up the stairs of 10 Downing Street David Cameron's successor can moor his yacht from the submerged security fence.

As for New Orleans, who cares? The US gov't doesn't care now.