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Earth Science

Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate 302

An anonymous reader writes with this bit of good news for everyone who is waiting for their homes to one day be on the beach. Melting ice is fuelling sea-level rise around the coast of Antarctica, a new report in Nature Geoscience finds. Near-shore waters went up by about 2mm per year more than the general trend for the Southern Ocean as a whole in the period between 1992 and 2011. Scientists say the melting of glaciers and the thinning of ice shelves are dumping 350 billion tonnes of additional water into the sea annually. This influx is warming and freshening the ocean, pushing up its surface. "Freshwater is less dense than salt water and so in regions where an excess of freshwater has accumulated we expect a localized rise in sea level," explained Dr Craig Rye from the University of Southampton, UK, and lead author on the new journal paper.
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Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

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  • What will it take? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Livius ( 318358 ) on Monday September 01, 2014 @12:23PM (#47800657)

    So much freshwater from melting glaciers that sea level isn't even level anymore, and some people still don't want to believe there might be a climate problem.

    (I don't mean the people who question how to address the problem - that's still legitimately an open question - or the severity of the problem, I mean the people still in denial that there's a problem at all.)

  • Re:unfair policy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by curmudgeon99 ( 1040054 ) on Monday September 01, 2014 @01:05PM (#47800933)
    The Western side of Antarctica has gained some mass but not enough to counteract the much more massive amount the Eastern side has lost. So, a much larger net negative.

    What I find most amazing is this: 97% of the best climate scientists we have on earth have concluded that we have a problem. The insurance companies ["How The Insurance Industry Sees Climate Change" [], "For Insurers, No Doubts on Climate Change" [], "Rift Widening Between Energy and Insurance on Climate Change" [], "Insurer's Message: Prepare for Climate Change or Get Sued" [], "On Climate Change: Get Ready or Get Sued" [] have concluded we have a problem. But, in the interest of sticking with their political druthers, a significant fraction of the American population has decided that 97% of the climate scientists and the insurance companies must be wrong. These people--Conservatives, essentially--are willing to take a risk that 3% of climate scientists are correct and that the insurance companies and 97% of climate scientists are wrong--merely because it serves their political persuasion.

    Do you think that Liberals would be successful at convincing 97% of climate scientists to take our point of view and the insurance companies too if this were bullshit? Yet, all these wiseass Conservatives are willing to take a risk with our frickin' planet just so they can jam a finger in the eye of their political rivals--ignoring the reality that has the potential to end life on the damned planet. In short, WTF is going on in the mind of Conservatives? How do you look at all these insurance companies and think: "It's a Liberal plot!" Can you be so stupid?
  • What will it take? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 01, 2014 @01:14PM (#47800995)

    Climate change "skepticism" is highly organized and well funded. It's a billion dollar effort. All those people who glibly tell you it's not real aren't skeptics at all, they're just kool-aid drinkers.

    And ... guess what? It's mostly American Conservatives behind it. No surprises there.

  • by Bender0x7D1 ( 536254 ) on Monday September 01, 2014 @01:44PM (#47801209)

    So if there's less ice, it's because of global warming. But if there's more ice, it's because of global warming.

    Yes. There is less ice in some areas due to global warming and more ice in other areas due to global warming.

    Think of it this way: Imagine the entire planet heated up by 20C, we wouldn't expect to see any permanent ice outside of Antarctica. (The North Pole might get some seasonal ice, but the much warmer oceans would melt it fairly quickly.) Now, with all of the oceans that much warmer, think how much additional water vapor would make it into the atmosphere. When the additional water vapor ends up over the South Pole, it will be cold enough for it to freeze and fall as snow. As the snow accumulates, it compacts into ice and we end up with a LOT more ice at the South Pole.

    So: Less ice everywhere but Antarctica due to global warming, but a lot more ice in Antarctica due to global warming.

    (And, yes; I do realize that this example is a vast simplification - and overstatement - I just used it to illustrate the point.)

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev