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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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Protesting Fuel Poverty, People Tell UK Government to 'Keep Everyone Warm This Winter'

As energy bills—and fossil fuel profits—continue to soar, demonstrators around Britain demanded immediate action from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and members of Parliament.

Kenny Stancil ·


'Turn Off the Tap on Plastic,' UN Chief Declares Amid Debate Over New Global Treaty

"Plastics are fossil fuels in another form," said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, "and pose a serious threat to human rights, the climate, and biodiversity."

Kenny Stancil ·


EPA Urged to 'Finish the Job' After Latest Move to Protect Bristol Bay From Pebble Mine

"Local residents, scientists, and the broader public all agree that this is quite simply a bad place for a mine, and it is past time for the EPA to take Pebble off the table permanently," said one activist in Alaska.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Zero Tolerance for Corruption': Grijalva, Porter Demand Answers on Alleged Trump Pardon Bribery Scheme

The Democrats believe a real estate developer donated to a Trump-aligned super PAC in exchange for the pardons of two other men.

Julia Conley ·


Millions of Americans Lack Adequate Health Coverage, But the Pentagon Has a New Nuclear Bomber to Flaunt

"This ominous death machine, with its price tag of $750 million a pop, brings huge profits to Northrop Grumman but takes our society one more step down the road of spiritual death," peace activist Medea Benjamin said of the new B-21 Raider.

Brett Wilkins ·

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