Climatic Change

Antarctica can lose 85 pct. of its ice cap due to climate change

Muestra un paisaje de la Antártida, en foto cedida por INACH. Recurso de archivo EFEverde

Sydney, (EFEverde).- Increase in average global temperature by 1.5 to two degrees Celsius (around 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) would cause the Antarctic to lose 85 percent of its ice cap and a dramatic increase in sea-level, according to a study published Thursday.

The melting of ice caps would lead to 40-centimeter (15.7-inch) rise in sea-level in 2100, and accelerate to three meters (9.8 feet) by 2300, and the trend would continue for thousands of years, said the study conducted by New Zealand and Australian scientists.

“Missing the 2-degree target will result in an Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise that could be up to 10 meters (33 feet) above present day,” said Nicholas Golledge, from Victoria University in New Zealand, and lead author of the study published in Nature magazine.

The threat of climate change looms over around 10 percent of the global population that lives near the coastal areas within an altitude of 10 meters above sea-level, especially the Pacific island nations.

The study ‘The multi-millennial Antarctic commitment to future sea-level rise’ simulated several scenarios regarding the melting of Antarctica’s ice sheets with respect emission of greenhouse gases.

It concluded that in every scenario, except in the case of significant cut in emissions after 2020, a significant rise in sea-levels is inevitable.

In 2013, a U.N. report on climate change predicted, in the worst case scenario, a five centimeter (two inches) rise in sea-level due to melting of Antarctic ice caps by the end of the century, compared to the 40 centimeters predicted by the new study.

Study co-author Chris Fogwill, claimed the new findings were based on the most conservative estimates.

The study comes two months before the scheduled U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Paris, where leaders from across the world will discuss reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. EFE



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