This frightening Think Progress headline, “East Antarctic Melting Could Raise Sea Levels By 10 To 13 Feet, Study Finds,” is based on false evidence. Although the text says the possibility of the melt is a distant threat, the George Soros-funded organization falsely claims Antarctic ice melt is up 50% even though ice levels are at record highs. It also claims that global warming is on track to double, despite the fact that global temperatures have not increased in almost 18 years.
According to Think Progress:
“East Antarctica’s Wilkes Basin is like a bottle on a slant. Once uncorked, it empties out,” Matthias Mengel, lead author of the study, said in a statement.
That uncorking, however, is a relatively distant threat. The researchers conducted simulations under scenarios with waters that were 1 to 2.5°C warmer than what they are today, and the study’s authors said there was still time to limit warming enough to keep the plug in place. However, the planet is on track to hit 2°C if major steps to curb climate change aren’t taken, and already much of the globe’s warming has been absorbed by the oceans. And although the East Antarctic threat is distant, it’s still a major finding — the study is the first to look at the Wilkes Basin to determine how the East Antarctic region might contribute to sea level rise.
“This is unstoppable when the plug is removed,” study co-author Anders Levermann told National Geographic. “The speed [of removal] we don’t know, but it’s definitely a threshold.”
If all of Antarctica were ever to melt, it could raise sea levels by about 188 feet. A 2012 study found that Antarctica’s ice loss had gone up by 50 percent over the past decade, and this year, a study found a massive Antarctic glacier has entered an irreversible melt, which could lead to a rise in sea levels of 1 centimeter. That glacier “has started a phase of self-sustained retreat and will irreversibly continue its decline,” one of the study’s authors said earlier this year. Another study from this year found that the shrinking of Antarctic glaciers can be “highly dependent” on climate variability.
Perhaps its the difference between 2012 and 2014 because the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reports that Antarctic ice loss is not “up by 50 percent” but is at its highest level for April since they began keeping track of polar ice in 1979.
Think Progress’ report that the planet is on track to hit 2°C in warming also ignores the facts. As Climate Depot reports:
According to the RSS satellite data, whose value for April 2014 is just in, the global warming trend in the 17 years 9 years since August 1996 is zero. The 212 months without global warming represents more than half the 423-month satellite data record, which began in January 1979. No one now in high school has lived through global warming.