standing room only!

Antarctica is likely to be the world’s only habitable continent by the end of this century if global warming remains unchecked, the Government’s chief scientist, Professor Sir David King, said last week.

He said the Earth was entering the “first hot period” for 60 million years, when there was no ice on the planet and “the rest of the globe could not sustain human life”.

The warning – one of the starkest delivered by a top scientist – comes as ministers decide next week whether to weaken measures to cut the pollution that causes climate change, even though Tony Blair last week described the situation as “very, very critical indeed.”

The Independent, 2 May 2004

32 feet (10 meters)

So what, geologically speaking, can we look forward to if we continue to pump out greenhouse gases at the present hell-for-leather rate? With resulting global average temperatures likely to be several degrees higher by this century’s end, we could almost certainly say an eventual goodbye to the Greenland ice sheet, and probably that covering West Antarctica too, committing us, ultimately, to a 10-metre or more rise in sea levels.
The Sydney Morning Herald 22 Mar 2012

2100 (end of century)

Antarctica is likely to be the world’s only habitable continent by the end of this century if global warming remains unchecked, the Government’s chief scientist, Professor Sir David King, said last week. He said the Earth was entering the “first hot period” for 60 million years, when there was no ice on the planet and “the rest of the globe could not sustain human life”.
The Independent, 2 May 2004

230 feet (70 metres)

Dr Gillett said the last assessment of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found human influence could be detected on all continents except Antarctica.

In the Arctic, we have the Greenland ice sheet, in the Antarctic, the Antarctic ice sheet. If those all melted, that would contribute 70 metres to sea level. Now that’s not going to happen in the next century or even several centuries but if even some of that ice starts to melt then that could make a large contribution to sea level rise.
The Age, 31 Oct 2008

Antarctic ice decreases

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While I was at Palmer, just across the mountains of the Peninsula, the massive Larsen B ice shelf began collapsing at catastrophic speed, changing forever the outline of the east coast. It was dramatic evidence of warming.

After the ferocious summer, changes on the Antarctic peninsula continued faster than scientists had ever anticipated. They were of greater speed, scale and magnitude than had ever been considered possible. Scientists say that they were shocked by warming so fast, intense and widespread.

SciencePoles, interview with Meredith Hooper, 20 Aug 2007

Antarctica gaining weight

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The eastern half of Antarctica is gaining weight, more than 45 billion tons a year as snow and ice pile up, according to a new scientific study. ”It’s been long predicted by climate models,” said Dr. Curt H. Davis, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri and the lead author of a paper that was published on the Web site of the journal Science yesterday. ”This is the first observational evidence.”
New York Times, 20 May 2005

Antarctica losing weight

From 2010 to 2013, West Antarctica, East Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula lost 134 billion, 3 billion and 23 billion tonnes of ice each year respectively. Dr Malcolm Macmillan from Leeds University, who was the lead author of the study, said the area has long been identified as the most vulnerable to changes in climate and assessments suggest its glaciers may have passed a point of irreversible retreat.
The Independent (UK) 19 May 2014
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