More heat means less ice, and no going back

Rising temperatures will radically affect how much Antarctic ice melts — and the impact is likely to be irreversible. Researchers modelled the effect of warming on the Antarctic ice sheet, which holds more than half of Earth’s fresh water, equivalent to 58 metres of global sea-level rise. They found that even if we keep global temperatures below 2 ℃ above pre-industrial levels — the goal of the Paris Agreement — we will be facing devastating sea-level rises of about 2.5 metres. The consequences grow exponentially as global temperatures rise. And feedback loops mean that ice will not re-form, even if temperatures are reversed to present-day levels. “We get enormous sea-level rise [from Antarctic melting] even if we keep to the Paris agreement, and catastrophic amounts if we don’t,” says climate scientist Anders Levermann.

The Guardian | 5 min read Reference: Nature paper

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