The calving front of Thwaites Ice Shelf looking at the ice below the water's surface (Credit: NASA, via Wikimedia Commons)
Two new studies show that five West Antarctic glaciers are undergoing an irreversible thaw, with repercussions including global sea level rise and damage to adjacent glaciers, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
The glaciers, which compose the foundation of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, will flow into the Admundsen Sea until they fully melt over the next 200 to 900 years. The melted ice would raise sea levels by 1.2 meters, though that figure could triple if other parts of the ice sheet are affected.
The studies suggest the damage cannot be undone, even if all greenhouse gas emissions were to stop immediately.
Image: The calving front of Thwaites Ice Shelf looking at the ice below the water’s surface (Credit: NASA, via Wikimedia Commons)