Top climatologist forecasts swift ice cap collapse
04 February 2006
From New Scientist Print Edition.
THE Greenland ice cap could collapse many times faster than
forecast, the US government's top climate modeller has warned.
On Monday, the UK government released a report saying that climate
change was close to a "tipping point" that could trigger the ice
sheet's collapse over the next thousand years, causing sea level to
rise by seven metres worldwide. It suggests that the melting would
follow a wave of warmth pushing through the 3-kilometre thick ice.
In a recent interview with New Scientist, Jim Hansen, the director
of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said the collapse of
the ice sheet could be "explosively rapid", with sea levels
rising "a couple of metres this century, and several more next
Hansen, who last week claimed that NASA was trying to gag him from
making such predictions, says scientists have already spotted
meltwater pouring down crevasses to the bottom of the ice sheet,
where it could provide lubrication for huge swathes of ice to slip
into the ocean.
From issue 2537 of New Scientist magazine, 04 February 2006, page 7