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Earth Science

Grim Picture of Polar Ice-Sheet Loss 412

ananyo writes "A global team of researchers has come up with the most accurate estimate yet for melting of the polar ice sheets, ending decades of uncertainty about whether the sheets will melt further or actually gain mass in the face of climate change. The ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting at an ever-quickening pace. Since 1992, they have contributed 11 millimeters — or one-fifth — of the total global sea-level rise, say the researchers. The two polar regions are now losing mass three times faster than they were 20 years ago, with Greenland alone now shedding ice at about five times the rate observed in the early 1990s. This latest estimate, published this week in Science, draws on up to 32 years of ice-sheet simulations and 20 years of satellite data to give an estimate two to three times more accurate than that in the last IPCC report."
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Grim Picture of Polar Ice-Sheet Loss

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  • Grim? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @11:19AM (#42141673)

    Warm=more food. Works for me.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @11:37AM (#42141893) Homepage

    Here's my non-predicted reaction: We're boned.

    Specifically, we aren't going to do what's necessary until it's already too late, because humans do a really bad job of responding to threats that aren't immediate. I won't be surprised if some people manage to adapt and survive, but it's going to be very messy, expensive, and violent (desperate people do not just lay down and die quietly), and there's no way those who survive will have the same standard of living as a typical modern American.

  • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @11:38AM (#42141903) Homepage
    Got into a discussion about this recently over the recent (and on-going) flooding in the UK. If the sea level and temperatures both rise, then a logical expectation of that would be that more water would evaporate off the oceans into the atmosphere, subsequently returning as rain and snow. That would entail more runoff and a corresponding rise in river levels and increased risk of flooding, particularly given the growing pressure on housing in some areas resulting in flood plains being used for development.

    It's not just the people with beachfront properties that need to be worried...
  • You gullible cretins (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @12:04PM (#42142229)

  • Re:GW is real (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @12:09PM (#42142291)

    So where the ice was 100 years ago before global warming started is exactly where "normal" is and where the ice should always have and forever have stayed? How was that determined.

  • by pixelpusher220 ( 529617 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:46PM (#42144093)
    And you know what? eruptions/emission from volcanoes are relatively constant. They haven't changed significantly in the last 200 years. So what has changed in that time frame?
  • Re:Fingers in ears (Score:4, Interesting)

    by paiute ( 550198 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @02:19PM (#42144635)

    You do realize that previously the deniers argued that it absolutely *wasn't* happening. Now that we've proven it *is* happening they are on to, "Well ok, but it's not us that's causing it".

    1. It's not happening.
    2. Okay, it's happening, but we didn't do it.
    3. Okay, it's happening, and we did it, but it's too expensive to fix it.

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