Greenland ice melted more than Antartica’sAugust 1st, 2011 - 2:12 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Aug 1 (IANS) The last prolonged warm spell caused the oceans to rise between 4 to 6.5 metres higher than their current levels.
Where did all that extra water come from? Mainly from melting ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica. Many scientists believed that Greenland was the main culprit.
But work by University of Wisconsin-Madison geoscientist Anders Carlson reveals surprising patterns of melt during the last interglacial period 125,000 years ago. It suggests that Greenland’s ice may be more stable and Antarctica’s less stable than many thought, reports the journal Science.
“There’s a clear need to understand how it (ice sheet) has behaved in the past, and how it has responded to warmer-than-present summers in the past,” said Carlson, according to a Wisconsin statement.
The ice-estimation business is rife with unknown variables and has few known physical constraints, Carlson explains, making ice sheet behaviour — where they melt, how much, how quickly — the largest source of uncertainty in predicting sea level rises due to climate change.
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- Ice samples show climate capable of abrupt changes - Sep 11, 2011
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- Ancient fossils hold clues for predicting future climate change - Apr 09, 2011
Tags: antarctica, climate change, culprit, estimation, geoscientist, greenland ice, interglacial period, journal science, melting ice, oceans, physical constraints, scientists, sea level, uncertainty, university of wisconsin, university of wisconsin madison, variables, warm spell