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According to a new analysis, the global sea-level rise due to the melting of Antarctic ice sheets over the next 1,000 years could have been underestimated by around 30%.

According to previous estimates, if the West Antarctic ice sheet collapsed, sea levels would rise by around ten feet.However, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed Science Advances journal on Friday, an impact known as the “water-expulsion process” was underappreciated.

The bedrock under the West Antarctic ice sheet is expected to rise above sea level as the ice sheet melts, according to scientists. According to a recent estimate of this impact, the world’s sea level will rise by one meter — about 3.3 feet — higher than previously expected over the next 1,000 years.

Sea-level Increase
Image Source: DW

According to Linda Pan, a lead author on the report, scientists had previously “dismissed it as insignificant.”Insider said, “This paper is a further improvement in the ability to projecte what the melting ice sheets will contribute to the sea level in the future,” a British Science Leader who had not participated in the study.

Because the basement beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet is rather elastic, scientists believe that when the ice sheet melts it will rise above sea level. As such, the water could move around the glacier to the surrounding ocean, thereby further increasing the world’s sea level.This was already known to scientists. However, new evidence indicates that the underlying Earth is less viscous than previously thought, implying that the bedrock can rise faster than previously thought, according to Smith of the British Antarctic Survey.

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Pan added in a press release: “No matter what scenario we used for the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, we always found that this extra one meter of global sea level rise took place.”

“The magnitude of the effect shocked us,” Pan said.

Sea-level Increase
Image Source: Business Insider

Every single estimate of sea level rise “is going to have to be revised upward” because of this work, Jerry X. Mitrovica, a professor of geophysics at Harvard and an author on the paper, said in a Friday statement.Scientists are worried that the West Antarctic ice sheet’s collapse could be irreversible.

The Thwaites Glacier, which is two-thirds the size of Manhattan, is receding at a rate of about a half-mile per year, and warming waters have built a cavity underneath it. This glacier has been dubbed “Doomsday Glacier” by scientists because it acts as a barrier between the ice sheet and warming waters.

According to Insider’s Aylin Woodward, when it melts away, scientists expect a cascading impact that will engulf neighboring glaciers.

Source: Business Insider

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