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  • sixgunsarnmy sixgunsarnmy Dec 24, 2012 11:26 PM Flag

    West Antarctica warming much faster than expected

    Source: Christian Science Monitor

    West Antarctica is warming almost twice as fast as previously believed, adding to worries of a thaw that would add to sea level rise from San Francisco to Shanghai, a study showed on Sunday.

    Annual average temperatures at the Byrd research station in West Antarctica had risen 2.4 degrees Celsius (4.3F) since the 1950s, one of the fastest gains on the planet and three times the global average in a changing climate, it said.

    The unexpectedly big increase adds to fears the ice sheet is vulnerable to thawing. West Antarctica holds enough ice to raise world sea levels by at least 3.3 metres (11 feet) if it ever all melted, a process that would take centuries.

    "The western part of the ice sheet is experiencing nearly twice as much warming as previously thought," Ohio State University said in a statement of the study led by its geography professor David Bromwich.

 
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