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Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by EF-Roger, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. EF-Roger

    EF-Roger Entrepreneur

    New work from an international team including Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira demonstrates that the planet’s remaining fossil fuel resources would be sufficient to melt nearly all of Antarctica if burned, leading to a 50- or 60-meter (160 to 200 foot) rise in sea level. Because so many major cities are at or near sea level, this would put many highly populated areas where more than a billion people live under water, including New York City and Washington, DC. It is published in Science Advances.

    “Our findings show that if we do not want to melt Antarctica, we can’t keep taking fossil fuel carbon out of the ground and just dumping it into the atmosphere as CO2 like we’ve been doing,” Caldeira said. “Most previous studies of Antarctic have focused on loss of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Our study demonstrates that burning coal, oil, and gas also risks loss of the much larger East Antarctic Ice Sheet.”

    Caldeira initiated this project with lead author Ricarda Winkelmann while she was a Visiting Investigator at the Carnegie Institution for Science. Winkelmann and co-author Anders Levermann are at the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research; co-author Andy Ridgwell is at the University of California Riverside.

    Although Antarctica has already begun to lose ice, a complex array of factors will determine the ice sheet’s future, including greenhouse gas-caused atmospheric warming, additional oceanic warming perpetuated by the atmospheric warming, and the possible counteracting effects of additional snowfall.

    Read more Billion lives at the risk if we burn remaining fossil fuels | The Market Business

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