6 captures
13 May 2014 - 02 Apr 2017
APRMAYAPR
13
201320142017
About this capture
Health & Science
In the News
Collapse of Antarctic ice sheet is underway and unstoppable but will take centuries
Video: A new study by researchers at NASA and the University of California at Irvine finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea.
By Darryl Fears, E-mail the writer
The collapse of the giant West Antarctica ice sheet is underway, two groups of scientists said Monday. They described the melting as an unstoppable event that will cause global sea levels to rise higher than projected earlier.
Scientists said the rise in sea level, up to 12 feet, will take centuries to reach its peak and cannot be reversed. But they said a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions could slow the melt, while an increase could speed it slightly.
Climate gauges
Temperatures at sea, on land and on ice all point to a warming trend over the past century, according to several indicators in the government's National Climate Assessment.
PLOTTED FROM MULTIPLE DATA SETS
Next
Sources: NOAA's "State of the Climate in 2012," National Snow and Ice Data Center. Graphic: Bonnie Berkowitz and Patterson Clark - The Washington Post.
More health and science news
Unstoppable melting of Antarctic ice sheet underway
Darryl Fears

Sea-level rise from the melt will take centuries to reach peak, but prediction is higher than it once was.
Taking care of Mom and Dad: Roz Chast’s story
Nora Krug

The New Yorker cartoonist’s wry take on an inevitability that many people face as their parents grow old.
An attack left him with PTSD — but he’s now a math wiz
Tanya Lewis

A salesman who had no interest in math can now visualize mathematical structures in everything.
Warm, naturally occurring ocean water flowing under the glaciers is causing the melt. “We feel it is at the point that it is . . . a chain reaction that’s unstoppable,” regardless of any future cooling or warming of the global climate, said Eric Rignot, a professor of Earth science at the University of California at Irvine. He was the lead author of a NASA-funded study that was one of the two studies released Monday.
The only thing that might have stopped the ice from escaping into the ocean and filling it with more water “is a large hill or mountains,” Rignot said. But “there are no such hills that can slow down this retreat,” he added.
The peer-reviewed NASA study has been accepted by the journal Geophysical Research Letters and is expected to be published within days.
The NASA announcement coincided with the release of a University of Washington study that contained similar findings. It will be published Friday in the journal Science.
Both studies observed ice retreating from four massive glaciers in West Antarctica — Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith and Kohler.
The Thwaites glacier alone holds enough water to increase sea level by two feet, the University of Washington study said. Together, the glaciers hold enough water to raise it by several feet.
Sea levels will not rise suddenly, in spite of what the word “collapse” implies, said a statement by the university announcing its report. “The fastest scenario is 200 years, and the longest is more than 1,000 years.”
The statement said university scientists used detailed maps and computer models to reach their conclusion “that a collapse appears to have already begun.”
“Scientists have been warning of its collapse, based on theories, but with few firm predictions or timelines,” the statement said.
The new projections of sea-level rise by both studies are higher and potentially more devastating than earlier projections by international scientists who authored an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report last year and U.S. scientists who wrote the federal government’s National Climate Assessment, which was issued this month.
The findings probably will force the IPCC to increase its current estimate of up to three feet of sea-level rise by 2100, said Sridhar Anandakrishnan, a professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University.
The IPCC bases its results on reviews of earlier studies, and the recent observations on polar ice “are only now starting to come together,” said Anandakrishnan, who was not involved in the NASA study.
Tom Wagner, cryosphere program scientist at NASA’s Earth Science Division in Washington, said this is not the first time scientists have said West Antarctica ice will collapse.
“That idea that this is unstoppable has been around since the 1970s,” Wagner said. “We’ve finally hit this point where we have enough observation to put this together” and say it is happening.
Earlier projections of a collapse are one reason scientists criticized some IPCC projections as overly conservative.
In the National Climate Assessment, released last week, scientists already predicted a harsh scenario for the Chesapeake Bay. “As sea levels rise,” they said, “the Chesapeake Bay region is expected to experience an increase in coastal flooding and drowning of . . . wetlands” that protect against storm surge.
Sea-level rise would be made worse because the land is sinking in the lower bay region because of ancient geological forces.
More from The Washington Post:
U.S. climate report: Global warming is already affecting us
Global warming from 1880-2009, in one map
Gallery: Spectacular ice caves
Reprints
Top National Stories
Most Popular Videos
The Post Most: National
2
Jacqueline Kennedy's newly discovered personal letters reveal 14 years of secrets
3
Casey Kasem is missing
4
West Antarctic glacial collapse: What you need to know
5
Archaeologist likely solves 500-year-old mystery of Christopher Columbus's missing Santa Maria
Today's Paper
Full list of today's
print stories »
View our e-Replica
edition »
SUBSCRIBE »
National Newsletters
Sign-up for e-mail newsletters and alerts and get the news you need delivered directly to your inbox.
 
Economy & Business News Alerts
Behind the Government Showdown
National News Alerts
The Most
Today's Headlines & Columnists
Live Discussions
Ask Aaron
Live chat, 2 p.m. ET
Reporter Aaron Blake takes your questions on the latest in politics.
SUBSCRIBE
PostTV
Politics
Opinions
Local
Sports
National
World
Business
Tech
Lifestyle
Entertainment
Jobs
More ways to get us
Newsletter & Alerts
Washington Post Live
Reprints & Permissions
Post Store
Photo Store
e-Replica
Twitter
Contact Us
Help & Contact Info
Reader Representative
Digital Advertising
Newspaper Advertising
News Service & Syndicate
About Us
In the community
Careers
PostPoints
Newspaper in Education
Digital Publishing Guidelines
Partners
washingtonpost.com
© 1996- The Washington Post
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Submissions and Discussion Policy
RSS Terms of Service
Ad Choices
Real EstateRentalsCarsToday's PaperGoing Out GuideFind&Save
HomePostTVIn PostTVPoliticsIn PoliticsCourts & LawThe Fed Page Health CarePollingWhite HouseGovBeatMd. PoliticsVa. PoliticsD.C. PoliticsBlogs & Columnssean_sullivanMary Landrieu’s dad suggests Putin barred her from Russia because of energy issuesPost Politics Sean Sullivanchris_cillizzaKarl Rove said Hillary Clinton has health questions to answer before 2016. So, does she?The Fix Chris Cillizzadipali_mukhopadhyay_and_frances_z_brownLessons from Afghanistan: Warlords and democracyThe Monkey Cage Dipali Mukhopadhyay and Frances Z. Brownniraj_chokshiSoon just two state gay marriage bans will be unchallenged in courtGovBeat Niraj Chokshijoe_davidsonAdministration reinstates awards for top civil servantsThe Federal Eye Joe DavidsonOpinionsIn OpinionsToles Cartoons Telnaes Animations The Post's ViewLetters to the EditorLocal Opinions Columnist Index Featured Blogserik_wempleGreenwald to Colbert: Next NSA story will make ‘biggest impact’ Erik Wemple Erik Wemplejonathan_capehartRacist and repugnant Donald Sterling doesn’t believe in MagicPostPartisan Jonathan Capehartradley_balkoMorning Links: R.J. Rummell, RIPThe Watch Radley Balkojennifer_rubin Rand Paul needs lots of clarifyingRight Turn Jennifer Rubinalyssa_rosenbergRemembering Magic Johnson’s heroismAct Four Alyssa RosenbergLocalIn LocalD.C. Maryland Virginia Crime Education Obituaries Transportation Weather Blogs & Columns Blogs & Columnskevin_ambroseGlorious weather for Washington Monument reopening and glorious views (PHOTOS)Capital Weather Gang Kevin Ambrosefritz_hahn_and_rhome_andersonNightlife Agenda: Forward Festival, golf happy hour and Marlee in the MixxGoing Out Guide Fritz Hahn and Rhome Andersonlori_arataniFrontier Airlines launches non-stop service to 14 cities from Dulles AirportDr. Gridlock Lori ArataniSportsIn SportsRedskins/NFLCapitals/NHLWizards/NBANationals/MLBD.C. United/SoccerCollegesAllMetSportsBlogs & ColumnsOther SportsBlogs & Columnskatie_carreraOrlov injured at world championshipsCapitals Insider Katie Carrerascott_allenGilbert Arenas forgives Donald SterlingDC Sports Bog Scott Allenkeith_mcmillanWho will win the NFC East in 2014?The Insider Keith McMillantracee_hamiltonKilling timeNationals Journal Tracee HamiltonNationalIn NationalEnergy & EnvironmentHealth & Science Education National Security InvestigationsInnovations Know More Religion On Giving CorrectionsBlogs & Columnsdominic_basultoDrone studies: The next hot college majorInnovations Dominic Basultoruth_tamHow not to put a face on human tragedyShe The People Ruth Tameugene_volokhPot and gunsVolokh Conspiracy Eugene Volokhj_freedom_du_lacFor an elevator fight gone viral, an unoriginal headline is a drawPost Nation J. Freedom du Lacjoel_achenbachGet your subscription to Sleeper’s WorldAchenblog Joel AchenbachWorldIn WorldAfrica The AmericasAsia & Pacific Europe Middle East National Security Columns & BlogsBlogs & Columnsrama_lakshmiWhat Bollywood stars are saying about India’s electionsWorldViews Rama Lakshmimay_ying_lamFor refugees, no home sweet homeWorldViews May-Ying Lamishaan_tharoorU.N. body to debate killer robotsWorldViews Ishaan Tharooradam_taylorWhy no one trusts India’s election pollingWorldViews Adam TaylorBusinessIn Business Economy IndustriesMarketsPolicy & RegulationKnow More World BusinessCapital BusinessOn Leadership On Small Business On I.T. Blogs & Columnsmichelle_singletaryMore-expensive college isn’t necessarily better, report saysThe Color of Money Michelle Singletarymatt_obrienStop blaming the IMF for everythingWonkblog Matt O'Brienjena_mcgregorWhat more commencement speakers need to sayOn Leadership Jena McGregorjonathan_oconnellMicrosoft unveils plans for innovation center in SEDigger Jonathan O'ConnellTechIn TechnologyInnovation The Switch Blogs & Columnshayley_tsukayamaHaters gonna hate, but Twitter will now make it easier to ignore them.The Switch Hayley Tsukayamaandrea_petersonAll of the bands you listened to in high school oppose FCC Chairman’s net neutrality planThe Switch Andrea Petersonbrian_fungHow Russia could hack its neighbors’ electionsThe Switch Brian Fungbrian_fungSwitchboard: NSA allegedly interferes with U.S. networking equipmentThe Switch Brian FungLifestyleIn LifestyleAdvice Carolyn Hax Food Express Home & Garden Style Travel Weddings Wellness Magazine KidsPost On Parenting Blogs & Columnsphilip_kennicottWalter Isaacson Delivers Jefferson LectureThe Style Blog Philip Kennicotthelena_andrewsGilbert Arenas forgives Donald Sterling via Instagram The Reliable Source Helena Andrewslenny_bernsteinHow an Indiana hospital got it right when first MERS case showed upTo Your Health Lenny Bernsteincaitlin_deweySolange Knowles is quantifiably more famous now than she’s ever been beforeThe Intersect Caitlin DeweyEntertainmentIn EntertainmentBooksComics Going Out GuideHoroscopes MoviesMuseums Music Puzzles & Games Theater & DanceTV Blogs & Columnsmichael_cavnaGoogle Doodle: Nobel-winning chemist’s career is honoredComic Riffs Michael Cavnafritz_hahn_and_rhome_andersonNightlife Agenda: Forward Festival, golf happy hour and Marlee in the MixxGoing Out Guide Fritz Hahn and Rhome AndersonJobsIn JobsMoreClassifiedsCarsDealsReal EstateRentalsPhotosBlogsDiscussionsFind&SaveObituariesArchivesTopicsWP Wine ClubWP BrandConnectPublic Relations
Christopher ColumbusSolangeCasey KasemJackie KennedyDonald Sterling
The earmark end-around?Bobby Jindal’s Christian conversionThe Antarctic ice sheet is collapsingPHOTOS | Kidnapped Ni­ger­ian girls