In a report released at the U.N. climate talks in Doha, Qatar, this week, the World Meteorological Organization said an area of Arctic ice bigger than the United States disappeared under warmer temperatures this year.
A prominent Antarctic scientist says a large ice shelf is disintegrating much faster than he predicted. In fact, it’s “hanging by a thread,” according to David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey. The concern over melting ice shelves has to do with the tremendous amount of water they store. The more they melt, the more sea level rises.
Last month Arctic sea ice shrunk by an area the size of Alaska when compared to historical averages, according to a new study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. By 2040, summer ice could disappear altogether.
According to the L.A. Times: “The massive glaciers are deteriorating twice as fast as they were five years ago. If the ice thaws entirely, sea level would rise 21 feet.” Some experts think the melting is occurring in ways that computer models had not predicted.