News in Brief

Antarctic glacier melt is unstoppable

Ice collapse could raise global sea level by more than 4 meters in coming centuries

5:13pm, May 12, 2014

DONE FOR  Thwaites Glacier, on the Amundsen Coast of West Antarctica, is part of a rapidly and irreversibly melting region of the continent's ice sheet.

A set of West Antarctic glaciers has now entered terminal melt.

Two studies reveal that the glaciers are on an irreversible path to liquefying and stand to raise global sea levels by around 4 meters in coming centuries.

Using two decades of satellite observations of six glaciers in West Antarctica, researchers led by Eric Rignot of the University of California, Irvine found unstoppable melting that will probably accelerate in coming centuries. The study appears May 12 in Geophysical Research Letters. In a press conference May 12, researchers noted that the disintegration of the six glaciers could raise sea level by 1.2 meters.

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