New link between greenhouse gasses and sea level rise -- ScienceDaily

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New link between greenhouse gasses and sea level rise

A new study provides the first evidence that rising greenhouse gases have a long-term warming effect on the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica. Scientists from British Antarctic Survey say that while others have proposed this link, no one has been able to demonstrate it.Ice loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Amundsen Sea is one of the fastest growing and most concerning contributions to global sea level rise.

The simulations show the Amundsen Sea generally became warmer over the century. This warming corresponds with simulated trends in wind patterns in the region which increase temperatures by driving warm water currents towards and beneath the ice. Rising greenhouse gases are known to make these wind patterns more likely, and so the trend in winds is thought to be caused in part by human activity.

This study supports theories that ocean temperatures in the Amundsen Sea have been rising since before records began. It also provides the missing link between ocean warming and wind trends which are known to be partly driven by greenhouse gasses. Ocean temperatures around the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will probably continue to rise if greenhouse gas emissions increase, with consequences for ice melt and global sea levels.

 

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