East Antarctica’s Melt Threat High

While scientists had been mostly concerned about West Antarctica’s rising temperatures, it turns out the East may show the potential to wreak even more havoc. A study published in Nature Climate Change this week argues that a small ice volume in East Antarctica, the Wilkes Basin, could cause an “irreversible discharge” that would lead to an unstoppable sea level rise of four meters. The study warns that “East Antarctica may become a large contributor to future sea-level rise on timescales beyond a century.” Though it may take as long as 200 years for that ice volume to melt and uncork, it still poses a major threat to many of the world’s major cities near bodies of water.