Due to the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, sea level risks to rise by 6-9 meters above the modern level. The ice massif is currently one of the most vulnerable in the South pole.
A similar process occurred 125 thousand years ago in the middle Paleolithic. About it reports the edition Science with reference to scientists of the University of Oregon (USA), writes UNIAN.
The base of the West Antarctic ice sheet lies below sea level. With increasing temperature of ocean waters, the glaciers may begin to melt, raising sea level and flooding a huge area of coastal land. According to scientists, the acceleration of loss of glacier mass observed in recent years is the beginning of this process, not a momentary phenomenon. In the collapse of shield in the Paleolithic period, sea level increased by about 2.5 meters per century.
Warming 125 thousand years ago were not greenhouse gases, but small changes in the location of the axis of rotation of the Earth. The global temperature was two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial values (now global temperatures have already risen by one degree), but in Antarctica was probably cooler than at present. Therefore, scientists did not know exactly what led to the rise in sea level, and believed that reason was the melting of the Greenland ice shield. As evidence of this version was obtained, the West Antarctic ice sheet was named as another likely source of water.The researchers analyzed 29 cores extracted from strata in the Antarctic Peninsula, the province of Amundsen glacier and melting the pine island and oceanic sediments in the Bellingshausen sea. It turned out that on the bottom of the sea there are traces of silt caught in the ocean more than a hundred thousand years ago when erosion of the bedrock under the influence of ice. However, in a certain period of time, signs of erosion were not, indicating the lack of ice cover. However, scientists admit that ocean currents could shift and began to carry away the silt to another location.