[Left: At the South Pole lies the Antartic Ice Sheet, shaded in red in the above diagram. It is considered vulnerable to melting due to global warming (Credit: NASA/GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio)]
Courtesy University of Calgary and World Science staff
Rising carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere will cause unstoppable changes to the climate for at least the next 1,000 years, a new study suggests.
The findings have led researchers to estimate a collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet by the year 3000, and an eventual rise in the global sea level of at least four metres (yards).
The study, to appear in the Jan. 9 advance online edition of the research journal Nature Geoscience, is billed as the first full climate model simulation to make predictions so far ahead. It’s based on best-case, “zero-emissions” scenarios simulated by scientists from the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis at the University of Victoria, and at the University of Calgary, also in Canada.
“We created ‘what if’ scenarios,” said researcher Shawn Marshall of the University of Calgary. “What if we completely stopped using fossil fuels and put no more [carbon dioxide] in the atmosphere? How long would it then take to reverse current climate change trends and will things first become worse?” Read More