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Two groups of scientists are reporting this week that the West Antarctica Ice Sheet has already begun to melt and has passed “the point of no return.”
That means that current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections for sea level rise are too low. Sea levels may, in fact, rise by between 10 and 32 inches by the end of the century—and more in subsequent centuries.
In other words, those who live on coastlines—or their children and their children’s children, more accurately—will have to contend with an unprecedented rise in sea levels caused by human-driven climate change.
And if the reports are correct, those trends are irreversible. “The thing that’s scary about this is, there’s nothing that can be done to stop it now,” Dr. Tim Barnett, a research marine physicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, told Newsweek.
“We’re in for it. If it happens in 200 years or 100 years or whatever, it’s almost with certainty going to happen.”
Antarctic Ice Report Shows the Future We Can’t Change