28 Sep '14, 11am

Ice sheets will be melting, and raising seas, for centuries to come - The Ecologist

Ice sheets will be melting, and raising seas, for centuries to come - The Ecologist

A 1m rise this century would hugely affect millions of people. Given that Earth has achieved these rates even when warming was much slower than today, such a rise is very possible. Ice sheets respond slowly to changes in climate, because they are so massive that they themselves dominate the climate conditions over and around them. But once they start flowing faster towards the shore and melting into the ocean the process takes centuries to reverse. Ice sheets are nature's freight trains: tough to start moving, even harder to stop. We know this process has been going back and forth throughout history - it's why we've had ice ages and warm periods. But until now we haven't known exactly how quickly ice sheets retreated and reformed. New research published in the journal Nature Communications gives us an answer, and it isn't great news. It turns out sea levels often rose at s...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2571683/ic...

Tweets

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