Leading Antarctic experts offer two possible views of continent’s future

Scientists address Antarctica’s future

Date:
June 14, 2018
Source:
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Summary:
The next 10 years will be critical for the future of Antarctica, and choices made will have long-lasting consequences, says an international group of Antarctic research scientists. It lays out two different plausible future scenarios for the continent and its Southern Ocean over the next 50 years.
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UMass Amherst climate scientist Rob DeConto, 2016 winner of the Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica, joins fellow winners in speculating about the continent’s future. He says emerging science is pointing to more extreme worst-case scenarios regarding sea level rise from Antarctica, but a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions might dramatically reduce the risk.
Credit: UMass Amherst

The next 10 years will be critical for the future of Antarctica, and choices made will have long-lasting consequences, says an international group of award-winning Antarctic research scientists in a paper released today. It lays out two different plausible future scenarios for the continent and its Southern Ocean over the next 50 years.

Writing in Nature, the authors are all winners of the Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica and experts in such disciplines as biology, oceanography, glaciology, geophysics, climate science and policy.

Recent work by Rob DeConto, the 2016 winner of the Tinker prize and professor of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, includes findings in a 2016 paper also in Nature that highlights the potential for Antarctica to contribute much more sea level rise to the world’s oceans than previously considered.

That work also highlights how reduced greenhouse gas emission can reduce the exposure of low-lying coastlines and cities to rising seas, including Boston.

DeConto says, “Emerging science is pointing to more extreme worst-case scenarios with regards to sea level rise from Antarctica, but the good news is that a reduction in emissions, in line with the aspirations of the Paris Climate Agreement, dramatically reduces the risk of flooding our coastlines in future decades and centuries.”

more:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180614213849.htm

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