Researchers found that global waters may rise 4 inches by 2100, making apocalyptic scenarios suggesting a minimum 12 inch rise highly improbable. To be more exact, study authors claim that such scenarios have only a 20 percent chance to occur.
The latest research was based on computer models and a new technique to check the findings. The team sifted through recent ground measurements and satellite observations on the South Pole collected over the course of 2 decades under the IMBIE project.
The data revealed that the region is under a lot of stress especially in its western end at the Amundsen Sea embayment, where researchers detected glaciers that are ‘irreversibly’ declining.
Tamsin Edwards of the Open University, in the U.K., and co-author of the study said that the recent research is based on 3,000 computer simulations. Edwards argued that past studies had also conducted simulations, but they never compared the findings with real-world data. Edwards’ team said that they looked at real-world physics data to see whether predictions may hold water.
Next, they adjusted predictions based on the melting rate observed in the Amundsen Sea at the present moment.
“We’re constraining the model with the observations. Nobody has really done this sort of formal scoring before,”
Edwards also said.
This is how the team concluded that we should expect just a four inch rise by the end of the century rather than panic about other scenarios. The findings are consistent with data unveiled by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2013.
Edwards deemed other scenarios about the Antarctic’s contribution to global sea-level rise not plausible. She explained that bedrock under the Antarctic ice sheet plays a crucial part in how fast ice slides to the sea. So, ice sheet in the region may not melt that fast by the end of the century because the rough and bumpy areas in the bed underneath.
Nevertheless, Edwards said that the doomsday scenarios are still valid but not on such a tiny timeframe. They may still happen but within a few hundred or a thousand years, she noted.
Researchers acknowledged that their study has some limitations. Because it focused only on the Antarctic, it may miss other contribution to global sea levels such as water coming from Greenland’s glaciers and other ice deposits.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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