New Study Indicates Loss of West Antarctic Glaciers Appears Unstoppable

A new study, accepted for publication in AGU’s Geophysical Research Letters journal, finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea. The study presents multiple lines of evidence, incorporating 40 years of observations that indicate the glaciers in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica “have passed the point of no return,” according to glaciologist and lead author Eric Rignot, of the University of California Irvine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

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The study has resulted in extensive media coverage, including the following:

“NASA Spots Worrisome Antarctic Ice Sheet Melt”
Associated Press

“‘Nothing can stop retreat’ of West Antarctic glaciers”
BBC News

“Western Antarctic ice sheet collapse has already begun, scientists warn”
The Guardian

“Key West Antarctic glaciers retreating unstoppably”

“West Antarctic Ice Sheet’s Collapse Triggers Sea Level Warning”
NBC News

“Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans as Antarctic Ice Melts”
The New York Times

“‘Unstoppable’ decline for ice sheet”

“West Antarctic glaciers in ‘irreversible’ thaw, raising seas: study”

“West Antarctic Ice Sheet Is Collapsing”

“West Antarctic Glacier Slow-Speed Collapse May Be Unstoppable”

“Scientists Warn of Melting Ice Sheet, Rising Sea Level”
The Wall Street Journal

“Loss of West Antarctic Glaciers ‘Unstoppable,’ Could Raise Seas by 4 Feet”
The Weather Channel