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Though 97 percent of the Antarctic peninsula is still covered with ice, entire valleys are now free of it, ice is thinner elsewhere, and glaciers have retreated, Peter Convey of the British Antarctic Survey tells the Associated Press. (Photo: Natalie Tapson/flickr/cc)

As Antarctica Melts Away, Seas Could Rise Ten Feet Within 100 Years

Based on rapid thawing, continent has become 'ground zero of global climate change without a doubt,' says geophysicist

Deirdre Fulton

Rapid melting of Antarctic ice could push sea levels up 10 feet worldwide within two centuries, "recurving" heavily populated coastlines and essentially reshaping the world, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Parts of Antarctica are thawing so quickly, the continent has become "ground zero of global climate change without a doubt," Harvard geophysicist Jerry Mitrovica told AP.

The Antarctic Peninsula, including the vulnerable West Antarctic ice sheet, is the region of the continent warming fastest because the land juts out in the warmer ocean. According to NASA, it is losing 49 billion tons of ice each year.

And why does that matter?

Because, as the AP declares: "The world's fate hangs on the question of how fast the ice melts."

"[I]f all the West Antarctic ice sheet that's connected to water melts unstoppably, as several experts predict, there will not be time to prepare," explain AP journalists Luis Andres Henao and Seth Borenstein.

"Scientists estimate it will take anywhere from 200 to 1,000 years to melt enough ice to raise seas by 10 feet, maybe only 100 years in a worst case scenario," they write. "If that plays out, developed coastal cities such as New York and Guangzhou could face up to $1 trillion a year in flood damage within a few decades and countless other population centers will be vulnerable."

Earlier this week, news outlets reported a "very unusual" short-term surge in sea levels along North America’s northeast coast, which scientists also linked to climate change.


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GOP 'Silence Speaks Volumes,' Says Ilhan Omar as Boebert's Bigotry Goes Unpunished

"Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress."

Brett Wilkins ·


Africans Should Be 'Applauded, Not Punished,' Say Advocates Amid Omicron Travel Ban

"What is going on right now is inevitable," said African Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance co-chair Dr. Ayoade Alakija. "It's a result of the world's failure to vaccinate in an equitable, urgent, and speedy manner."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

"Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it's OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


UNESCO Members Adopt First Global AI Ethics Agreement 'To Benefit Humanity'

"We're at a critical juncture in history," said Ethics in Tech founder Vahid Razavi. "We need as humans to come together and decide what is the best course of action to take with these technologies before they surpass us in their abilities."

Brett Wilkins ·


Progressive US Lawmakers Mark Black Friday With Calls to Pass the PRO Act

"The right to organize, fight for better working conditions, and fair pay must always be protected."

Jessica Corbett ·

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