High-Emissions Future Would Be Disastrous For Ice Sheets, Sea Levels

By on September 25, 2015

Researchers predict that burning all of the fossil fuels would melt ice across the globe. (Credit: Maria Martin / Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)


A new paper reveals a grim fate for Earth’s future inhabitants, according to a recent New York Times article. Climate researchers predict that if all the fossil fuels are burned up, global temperatures would rise by 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperature spike would cause the entire Antarctic ice sheet to melt in 1,000 years. As a result, sea levels would rise by 200 feet, leaving cities like Houston, New Orleans and Rome underwater and a majority of the planet uninhabitable. In order to make their predictions, the researchers used computerized ice sheet modeling for analysis.

In December, the world’s nations will convene in Paris to discuss curbing emissions levels. The researchers believe that if fossil fuel burning is curtailed significantly, the imperiled ice sheets may be preserved or melt at drastically lower rates.

Top image: Researchers predict that burning all of the fossil fuels would melt ice across the globe. (Credit: Maria Martin / Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)

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