Antarctica is melting at an unprecedented rate. However, scientists have concluded that by merely burning the available and known deposits of fossil fuels is enough to raise the temperature so much that cities will drown.
The entire Antarctica ice sheet will melt with the combustion of available fossil fuel resources. The thawed ice will end up in the oceans of the world, raising the mean sea level by more than 50 meters (160 feet). Though it may not all happen within this millennium, the gradually rising sea levels are enough to submerge most of the populous cities, cautioned an international study.
Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science and an author on the paper, in association with his colleagues, linked the quantum of the fossil fuels known to mankind and its impact on global warming. His first-of-its-kind research has indicated that there are enough fossil fuels buried in the ground and being extracted at an accelerated rate, which can easily and effectively melt all of Antarctica, causing the drowning of popular regions, reported MSN.
Needless to add, Antarctica isn’t the only massive chunk of ice that’s melting owing to the continual burning of fossil fuels, said Caldeira,
“Of course, it wouldn’t be only Antarctica that melts under this scenario. Our study shows that if we don’t leave most of the carbon in the ground, we are going to melt most of the ice on this planet. I think this is one of the most important papers of my career.”
Incidentally, Caldeira isn’t the only one who has painted a grim future for our planet. While his paper suggests sea levels will eventually rise by 58 meters, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has estimated that sea levels will rise between 2 and 3 feet by the end of this century, reported Yahoo.
Simply put, the world is warming up and so is the usage of fossil fuels. Though there is an earnest effort to switch to renewable energy and quite a few countries have increased their dependence on green energy, fossil fuels continue to be the most used and unfortunately most preferred form in majority of the countries. Caldeira and his team estimates that within a relatively short span of 10,000 years, the sea will rise by as much as 200 feet owing to the rapid melting of the polar caps, thereby submerging cities.
A mere 4-degree Celsius rise has been termed as catastrophic by climate experts. It is clearly no laughing matter.
[Image Credit | Vanderlei Almeida / Getty Images]