New study points to inevitable sea level rise due to Antarctic ice shelf melting, sparks climate anxiety

Icebergs and floating ice in Antarctica.

Regardless of any future cutbacks on carbon emissions, sea levels will rise about 6 feet over the next few centuries, according to a new study based on simulations calculating the future state of the West Antarctic Ice Shelf.

Dr. Kaitlin Naughten, a British Antarctic survey oceanographer, led the study in which researchers used computer simulations to calculate the future melting projections of the Antarctic ice sheets.

“Our simulations suggest that we are now committed to the rapid increase in the rate of ocean warming and ice shelf melting over the rest of the century,” Naughten told the Associated Press.

The simulations looked at four different levels of carbon dioxide emission. In each of the four emission levels, huge portions of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet were shown to melt due to high water temperatures, which is the result of oceans absorbing more greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA’s website said that changes to the ocean system occur over longer stretches of time. Even with immediate cutbacks, the oceans wouldn’t start adjusting for many more centuries.

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