Melting Antarctic Ice Sheet could bring half a metre of sea-level rise

An aerial view of an area where the Antarctic Ice Sheet meets the sea.
17 September 2020

The melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet could contribute half a metre of sea-level rise in the coming century, a significant increase to estimates from just five years ago, a new study has found.

The research published in Reviews of Geophysics found that Antarctic Ice Sheet change is particularly driven by the interaction between ice shelves and ocean conditions.

Lead author and IMAS lecturer Dr Taryn Noble worked with a team of national and international experts on the wide-ranging assessment of Antarctic variability in the past, present and near future.

“We looked at the current understanding of interactions between the ice sheet, climate and the ocean, and at the underlying Earth structure that can either amplify or dampen responses of the ice sheet to climate change,” Dr Noble said.

“This highlighted the gaps in our understanding, and provides a crucial foundation for targeting new research in this challenging environment, to effectively and efficiently address these knowledge gaps.”

Dr Noble said the assessment revealed substantial changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns around the ice sheet that are associated with global climate change.

Read the full article on the GetStem website, feauturing commentary by Prof Eelco Rohling