Sea level rise accelerates as ice-sheets melt

Greenland ice sheet

The Greenland ice sheet has melted significcantly over the last decade

At over 400 parts per million, atmospheric CO2 levels are now as high a 3 million years in the Pliocene period. At that time, the world was 3C warmer; oceans were 8 to 25 metres higher, and the world was a dramatically different place.

The West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are melting at double the rate they were a decade ago and contain enough ice to raise sea levels over 1.2 metres.

The sea ice in the Arctic continues to disappear at an accelerating rate.

Insurance companies are refusing to insure against impacts of sea level rise and have called on world governments to take immediate and drastic action now.

West Antarctic glaciers have ‘passed point of no return’

Together, all six glaciers contained enough ice to raise global sea levels by 1.2 metres. They drained ice sheets which held ice equivalent to several more metres. Its retreat will also influence adjacent sectors of the West Antarctic ice sheet which could triple this contribution to sea level.

Antarctic ice sheet history and role in rapid sea level rise

Antarctic ice has a history of sudden partial collapse, in fits and starts. The fastest flow of Antarctic icebergs closely matched a period when global sea levels rose by 5 metres a century over a period of 350 years. Antarctica last year lost about 160 billion tonnes of ice to the ocean, compared with about 30 billion tonnes per year during 1992-2001. on earth is happening to Antarctica’s sea ice? Across all lines of evidence a picture of dramatically changing Southern Ocean westerly winds has emerged. Rising greenhouse gases and ozone depletion are forcing the westerlies closer to Antarctica, and robbing southern parts of Australia of vital winter rain.

A high-resolution record of Greenland mass balance

Greenland Ice Sheet lost one trillion tons of water due to melt during the four-year period from 2011 through 2014. That’s about double theloss during the 1990s through mid-2000s. Subsequently, Greenland’s contribution to sea-level rise also doubled, meaning that Greenland alone contributed 0.75 mm of sea-level rise every year in 2011-14.

A recent tipping point in the Arctic sea-ice cover

Abrupt and persistent increase in the seasonal cycle since 2007


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