Antarctica and Greenland Are on Track for Worst-Case Climate Scenario

“As the world’s ice sheets have been cracking up and melting down, climatologists have warned that further decimation could cause devastating levels of sea level rise. Now, a recent study shows that ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are melting at a pace on par with the worst-case climate scenarios scientists have predicted, putting coastal communities where millions of people reside at risk.

In the study published in Nature Climate Change last week, researchers compared satellite observations of ice melt at the poles with calculations from the models in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2015 fifth assessment report. The report is considered the gold standard, synthesizing studies from the around the world.

They found that from when satellite record keeping began in the early 1990s to 2017, Greenland and Antarctica lost a combined lost 6.4 trillion metric tons of ice. As a result, global sea levels have risen by 0.7 inches (1.8 centimeters).”

Dharna Noor reports for Earther September 8, 2020.