Study: Antarctica’s future contribution to sea level rise

This article discusses some studies that show how Antarctica’s melting will affect seam level rise.

A widely reported study in 2016 that suggested Antarctica could add more than a metre to sea levels by 2100 was likely an “overestimate”, new research says.

The original study, published in Nature, grabbed headlines with the finding that Antarctic ice was at risk from “marine ice-cliff instability”, which would see towering cliffs of glacier ice collapse into the ocean under their own weight.

A new Nature study revisits the theory, finding that the “jury’s definitely still out” on ice-cliff instability coming into play this century, the lead author tells Carbon Brief.

A second paper, also in Nature, says that melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets could have dramatic knock-on impacts for the climate. These include the potential weakening of the Atlantic current that brings warm water up to Europe from the tropics, and a positive feedback loop that reinforces melting of Antarctic ice.

Almost three years on, a new study – also published in Nature – has revisited the 2016 paper and undertaken further statistical analysis. The new findings question whether there is sufficient evidence to support MICI playing a role in sea level rise this century.

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