IN OTHER WORDS
Skeptics about global warming often point to Antarctica to show that Al Gore and others who worry about climate change have exaggerated the dangers greatly. They may concede that the Arctic is melting and even that Greenland is beginning to appear a bit shaky. But look at Antarctica, they will say. It’s actually growing colder, and the ice sheet is thickening.
That argument is becoming harder to sustain. According to a study published last week in the journal Nature Geoscience, changes in water temperature and wind patterns related to global warming have begun to erode vast ice sheets in western Antarctica at a much faster rate. The findings give more urgency to the search for a new global agreement to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize last year with Gore, predicted that if nothing is done to slow the increase in global warming gases, the world’s oceans could rise as much as two feet in this century. Many scientists add another foot because they think the panel underestimated glacial flows. It is too early to predict how much the melting from Antarctica will add. Still, the new findings are unsettling and yet another warning that there is no way to deny and hide from global warming. — The New York Times