Many of us know that Antarctica exists but how many of us actually think about it? Since it’s so far away and unhabitable, what happens there doesn’t really matter to us. But what if it does?
For those who live in South America on the southern tip, only 2,500 miles away is Antarctica. And slowly but surely over the course of many millennia, two glaciers named Pine Island and Thwaites, have crept slowly towards South America. In our lifetime, we don’t have to worry about these glaciers hitting South America but we do need to worry about global warming and when these glaciers will melt.
These two glaciers are the fastest melting glaciers in Antarctica. Together they act as a dam that is currently preventing so much ice that if melted will cause the ocean sea level to raise 11 feet. An estimated amount that will submerge EVERY coastal city on the planet. A Rolling Stone article refers to these glaciers as The Doomsday Glaciers!
As ice begins to crumble from Antarctica, higher deeper cliffs become exposed. The ice is so heavy that it causes enough pressure for more and more icebergs to breakaway. This marine cliff instability is a feedback loop that is happening much faster than scientists have previously thought. As the icebergs melt into the ocean sea levels, the overall sea level will rise which can cause a catastrophe. So climatologists believe that by the end of the century (2100) that sea levels can rise up to 6 feet if carbon emissions do not slow down.
At Three Feet: frequent flooding in the US especially in coastal cities such as New Orleans, Houston, New York and Miami. Smaller Pacific Island nations would cease to exist.
At Six Feet: 12 million United States’s Citizens would lose their homes and Asian megacities like Shanghai, Mumbai and Ho Chi Minh would be destroyed.
At Eleven Feet: Hundreds of millions of people’s homes would be underwater.
However, some scientists believe if we make a conscious effort to reduce greenhouse gases and carbon emissions we can slow down the melting of the glaciers in Antarctica.