First there was this headline:
According to the story sea level rise estimates are going to need to be revised upward: A portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet that is home to some of the fastest-flowing glaciers on the continent appears to have entered a state of retreat and melt that is “unstoppable,” two new studies have found.
In another report we read these words of alarm: the retreat of ice in the Amundsen sea sector of West Antarctica was unstoppable, with major consequences – it will mean that sea levels will rise one metre worldwide. What’s more, its disappearance will likely trigger the collapse of the rest of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which comes with a sea level rise of between three and five metres. Such an event will displace millions of people worldwide.
The article continues with this: there is no red button to stop this process. Reversing the climate system to what it was in the 1970s seems unlikely; we can barely get a grip on emissions that have tripled since the Kyoto protocol, which was designed to hit reduction targets. Slowing down climate warming remains a good idea, however – the Antarctic system will at least take longer to get to this point.
Unabated climate warming of several degrees over the next century is likely to speed up the collapse of West Antarctica, but it could also trigger irreversible retreat of marine-based sectors of East Antarctica. Whether we should do something about it is simply a matter of common sense. And the time to act is now; Antarctica is not waiting for us.
This should make us all stop what we are doing and immediately start to cut our carbon footprints so as not cause global flooding. The problem is there is an entirely natural explanation for all this sea ice melting and it has nothing to do with “global warming.”
A new study finds subglacial volcanoes and mantle plumes are melting Thwaites Glacier, a major river of ice that flows into Antarctica’s Pine Island Bay. Areas of the glacier that sit near geologic features thought to be volcanic are melting faster than regions farther away from plumes, said Dustin Schroeder, the study’s lead author and a geophysicist at the University of Texas at Austin.
The melt caused by mantle plumes could lubricate the ice sheet from beneath, hastening its flow toward the sea. To understand how much the supper-heated viscous rock contributes to this flow and what that means for the future of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet – glaciologists and climate scientists will have to include the new finer-grained findings in their models. Schroeder and his colleagues also plan to expand their study to other glaciers in the region.
In other words volcanic activity beneath the ice is what is causing them to heat up and melt. So you can take a deep breath and exhale that CO2 into the atmosphere without the fear that you are causing polar bears to die and glaciers to melt.