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Antarctic Melting Slows Atmospheric Warming, Speeds Sea Level Rise

Published: Monday, November 19, 2018 - 4:26pm
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Newly published research led by the University of Arizona shows how the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet will affect future climate.

Researchers previously thought the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet would affect only sea level, not the entire climate system.

Senior author Joellen Russell is an associate professor of geosciences who led the study.

“We showed that the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet is likely to lead to slower southern hemisphere warming as measured by surface air temperatures.”

That’s a surprising finding and one that could lull critics into a false sense that the impacts of global climate change are not as dire as previously predicted.

“Essentially, we should be ringing every alarm,” said Russell. “If we were on a ship, we’d be saying ‘pan, pan, pan,’ trying to get everybody’s attention.”

The research is published online in the journal, Nature.

It is funded by the National Science Foundation-funded Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) Project, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

Science Sustainability