Home News Researchers predict rise in sea levels

Researchers predict rise in sea levels

Image Credit: Keith Richards (via thisiscornwall.co.uk)
Image Credit: Keith Richards (via thisiscornwall.co.uk)

Researchers from the University of Exeter have taken part in a study showing that the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica is in retreat. The study predicts that sea-levels will increase by 3.5-10mm over the next 20 years.

Ice-flow models, which were published in Nature Climate Change on Monday, were used to predict the glacier’s movement. Currently contributing to a quarter of the total ice lost from West Antarctica, the models show that the glacier is now in an ‘irreversible retreat’. This will result in a significant amount of ice being shifted into the ocean, causing sea-levels to increase dramatically.

As well as the University of Exeter, the research team represented a number of international institutions. These include the University Institute of France, the University of Grenoble, The British Antarctic Survey, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, the CSC IT Centre for Science in Finland, and the University of Bristol. Dr Anne Le Brocq, from Exeter University’s Geography department took part in the study. She said: “Ongoing retreat in this region of Antarctica will have a significant impact on future sea-level change. It is important that we understand the risk of further sea-level rise resulting from change in this region in the future. The agreement from the three models suggests the risk of sea-level rise as a result of irreversible retreat is high.”

Kate Williams, a second-year Law student said: “It is wonderful that the University of Exeter is engaged with such important and influential research. It shows that the university is responsive to global issues which affect us as individuals, and that further studies should be encouraged”.

Rachel Gelormini, News Team

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