Antarctic Ice Loss Less Severe Than Previous IPCC Estimates: Research

Jun 6th, 2013 | By | Category: Development and Climate Change, Global Warming, Health and Climate Change, Information and Communication, Research, Vulnerability
Photo: Antarctic ice loss less severe than previously thought, new research suggests. (Matt Low: AFP/Australian Antarctic Division)

Photo: Antarctic ice loss less severe than previously thought, new research suggests. (Matt Low: AFP/Australian Antarctic Division)

The review – Ice-sheet mass balance and climate change, published in the journal Nature – confirms that Antarctica and Greenland are both losing ice and contributing to rising sea levels.

But it found that Greenland is losing twice as much ice as Antarctica, and that Antarctic ice loss is likely to be less extreme than previously suggested.

Ian Allison, an Honorary Research Professor at the University of Tasmania, says the review is an important update that still acknowledges the damaging impact of climate change.

“It’s chopping off the extreme projections, it’s brought the future contributions to sea level rise right down to the core results that the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] last time produced, which is still a very great concern,” he said.

Professor Allison says the study also looks at contributions from mountain glaciers.

“It’s an important summary that’s bringing together a lot of original work,” he said.

“I think we’re going to see similar results perhaps come out in the next IPCC assessment, but this is a very useful step alerting us to what’s happening and what the present consensus is amongst the scientific community.”

Professor Allison says the impacts of rising sea levels are some of the more major impacts coming out of climate change.

“It’s not just a matter of sea level rising, so sea level going up, it’s the impact of storm surges and extreme events, events that might happen once in a hundred years… they’ll start occurring every 10 years to every couple of years,” he said.

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