Rapid Climate Change
More and more evidence is amounting that global warming can create rapid climate change, a sudden lurch in the global climate that will cause extreme weather events which in turn can create environmental feedback loops which will only exacerbate the problem. We have to accept that radical changes to our emissions are the only way to really combat the problem, not nice words and empty sentiments.
Massive ice shelf 'may collapse without warning'
The Ross Ice Shelf, a massive piece of ice the size of France, could break off without warning causing a dramatic rise in sea levels, warn New Zealand scientists working in Antarctica.
A New Zealand-led ice drilling team has recovered three million years of climate history from samples which gives clues as to what may happen in the future.
Initial analysis of sea-floor cores near Scott Base suggest the Ross Ice Shelf had collapsed in the past and had probably done so suddenly.
The team's co-chief scientist, Tim Naish, told The Press newspaper the sediment record was important because it provided crucial evidence about how the Ross Ice Shelf would react to climate change, with potential to dramatically increase sea levels.
"If the past is any indication of the future, then the ice shelf will collapse," he said.
"If the ice shelf goes, then what about the West Antarctic Ice Sheet? What we've learnt from the Antarctic Peninsula is when once buttressing ice sheets go, the glaciers feeding them move faster and that's the thing that isn't so cheery."
Antarctica stores 90 per cent of the world's water, with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet holding an estimated 30 million cubic kilometres.
In January, British Antarctic Survey researchers predicted that its collapse would make sea levels rise by at least 5m, with other estimates predicting a rise of up to 17m.