Antarctica Might Melt for a Millennium

Climate change is causing a rapid decline in the ice surrounding the South Pole, and new research highlights that this might trigger a centuries-long phase of ice retreat. A study recently published in Nature Communications looks at past melting periods of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) to learn about what current melting might entail. The researchers found that multiple melting phases in the past destabilized the world’s largest ice sheet in as short a time as a decade. These rapid retreats were then responsible for “contributing to global sea-level rise for centuries to a millennium” before the AIS re-stabilized.

The international team of researchers analyzed the possible future of the AIS and found a host of variables supporting the possibility of long-term melting. These…

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