Antarctic Ice May Be Held in Place By Small Plugs—for Now
Centuries of warmer waters would be needed before Wilkes Basin could contribute to sea level rise.
However, it would take centuries of exposure to waters warmer than currently exist for such a situation to occur, they report today in Nature Climate Change.
If all the ice sheets of Antarctica melted, they would raise sea level by 60 meters (200 feet). Even with anthropogenic climate change, there's little chance that will happen. But a rise even a fraction of that amount would be devastating.
Scientists are beginning to understand the dynamics of the marine ice of West Antarctica, but less so that of East Antarctica, where there's enough frozen water to raise sea level 53 meters (174 feet). The new study focused on one part of East Antarctica, the bowl-like Wilkes Basin, which