- According to a study published by the British Antarctic Survey on Monday, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would still collapse in the coming centuries even if the world successfully reduces greenhouse gas emissions.1
- The study found that ice is set to melt three times more quickly in the 21st century than the previous century, even if global warming is limited to 1.5°C (2.7 °F) above pre-industrial levels.2
- Kaitlin Naughten, the study's lead author, has suggested that the findings show humanity is now 'committed to a rapid increase in the rate of ocean warming and ice shelf melting for the rest of the century.'3
- The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is home to the Thwaites Glacier — nicknamed 'the Doomsday Glacier' — which, if it collapses, could raise sea levels by as much as 10 feet.4
- The study didn't determine how much ice would be lost or how quickly, though it did estimate that sea levels could increase by 5.9 feet through the 2300s, 2400s, and 2500s if all of the ice in the high-risk area is melted.5
- While the research suggests the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is imminent, it adds that the world must continue to slash greenhouse gas emissions since 'our actions likely will make a difference in the 22nd century and beyond.'6
- Narrative A, as provided by Nature. This study is a wake-up call. Preventing a catastrophe is still possible and reducing greenhouse gas emissions could give societies time to prepare for and adapt to rising sea levels. Cutting CO2 would prevent the rest of the Antarctic Ice Sheet — containing more than ten times as many meters of sea-level rise — from melting.
- Narrative B, as provided by National Post. This isn't the first time scientists have raised the alarm regarding the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The region witnessed similar lows in 2017 and 2022. While climate change is an urgent issue, its catastrophic framing alienates and polarizes large portions of the population. Climate alarmism must be taken with a grain of salt as it can risk doing more harm than good.