Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Antarctic Ice Sheet - growing or shrinking?

Posted by SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research):

"What will Antarctica and the Southern Ocean look like in 2065?"

The 1st Martha T. Muse Fellows Colloquium; 22 April 2014; Queenstown, New Zealand

"Many forecasters and futurists tell us that in 2065:
  • the world's human population will be 8.5 billion,
  • atmospheric CO2 levels will exceed 650 ppm under a business as usual scenario,
  • the Arctic ocean will be ice free in August and September,
  • average global temperature will 4°C warmer than in 2000,
  • ocean pH will be less than 8.2, and
  • sea level will be ~26 cm higher than in 1990.
What will these dramatic changes to Planet Earth mean for the world's last great wilderness and a bellwether of global change – Antarctica and the Southern Ocean? To speculate about this future world and the ramifications for human societies, the "1st Martha T. Muse Colloquium" will convene a panel of the Martha Muse Prize awardees and guests to address the topic "Beyond the Horizon – Antarctica and the Southern Ocean 2065" in Queenstown, New Zealand on Tuesday, April 22, 2014."

Barnett Glacier.  Photo © Bruce Luyendyk
We now know from at least four lines of evidence that the greatest ice sheet on Earth is shrinking under the assault of global warming.

Where is the political will to act?

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