129, 000 years ago the West Antarctic Ice Sheet melted. Earth’s oceans rose about 10 feet.

High temperature in Antarctica, this week = 69°F.

…The mass melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was a major cause of high sea levels during a period known as the Last Interglacial (129,000-116,000 years ago). The extreme ice loss caused more than three metres of average global sea level rise – and worryingly, it took less than 2˚C of ocean warming for it to occur.

To conduct our research, we travelled to an area on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and drilled into so-called blue ice areas to reconstruct the glacial history of this ice sheet…

…The results showed that most ice loss happened at the start of Last Interglacial warming, some 129,000 years ago – showing how sensitive the Antarctic is to higher temperatures. We think it’s likely this melting started well before the ocean warmed by 2˚C….

Our results suggest a 3.8 metre sea level rise during the first thousand years of a 2˚C warmer ocean. Most of the modelled sea level rise occurred after the loss of the ice shelves, which collapsed within the first two hundred years of higher temperatures.

I know, I know. Most Americans think like most American politicians. It ain’t happening while I’m around. Probably my kids and grandkids will be OK, as well. Someone further down the road will think of something to save our butts.

I’d rather have the concession for caskets that float.

One thought on “129, 000 years ago the West Antarctic Ice Sheet melted. Earth’s oceans rose about 10 feet.

  1. Cassandra says:

    “Satellite images show that two important glaciers in the Antarctic are sustaining rapid damage at their most vulnerable points, leading to the breaking up of vital ice shelves with major consequences for global sea level rise.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/15/weather/antarctica-pine-island-thwaites-glacier-climate-intl-hnk/index.html
    “The Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, which sit side by side in West Antarctica on the Amundsen Sea, are among the fastest changing glaciers in the region, already accounting for 5% of global sea level rise. Scientists say the glaciers are highly sensitive to climate change.
    A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, found that the glaciers are weakening at their foundations and this damage over the past few decades is speeding up their retreat and the possible future collapse of their ice shelves.”
    PNAS “Damage accelerates ice shelf instability and mass loss in Amundsen Sea Embayment” https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/09/08/1912890117

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