Big spike in sea-level rise predicted by researchers

Ready for some more bad news about the melting Antarctica ice?

Australian scientists now say that the ocean conditions around Antarctica are disturbingly close to conditions 14,000 years ago that new research shows may have led to the rapid melting of Antarctic ice and an abrupt 3- to 4-meter rise in global sea level.

Such a gigantic increase is up to four times the amount that has been predicted for this century by other scientists in the past.

A sea level rise of up to 13 feet would make drastic changes to both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Costa Rica.

Towns, like Puntarenas Centro, would vanish.

The research published in Nature Communications found that in the past, when ocean temperatures around Antarctica became more layered – with a warm layer of water below a cold surface layer – ice sheets and glaciers melted much faster than when the cool and warm layers mixed more easily, said a summary from the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.

To get their results the researchers used sophisticated ice sheet and climate models and verified their results with independent geological observations from the oceans off Antarctica, said the research council. The geological data clearly showed that when the waters around the Antarctic became more stratified, the ice sheets melted much more quickly, it added..

“The big question is whether the ice sheet will react to these changing ocean conditions as rapidly as it did 14,000 years ago,” said lead author Nick Golledge, a senior research fellow at Victoria’s Antarctic Research Centre, in the summary provided by the research council.

“With 10 per cent of the world’s population, or 700 million people, living less than 10 meters above present sea level, an additional three meters of sea level rise from the Antarctic alone will have a profound impact on us all.”

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.