West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse – the fall and rise of a paradigm

  title={West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse – the fall and rise of a paradigm},
  author={David G. Vaughan},
  journal={Climatic Change},
  • D. Vaughan
  • Published 20 August 2008
  • Environmental Science
  • Climatic Change
It is now almost 30 years since John Mercer (1978) first presented the idea that climate change could eventually cause a rapid deglaciation, or “collapse,” of a large part of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS), raising world sea levels by 5 m and causing untold economic and social impacts. This idea, apparently simple and scientifically plausible, created a vision of the future, sufficiently alarming that it became a paradigm for a generation of researchers and provided an icon for the green… 
Faunal evidence for a late quaternary trans‐Antarctic seaway
Collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) would raise global sea level by ∼3.3–5 m. Ice‐sheet models and geological data suggest at least one collapse has happened during the last 1.1 Ma, and
Expedition 379 summary
The Amundsen Sea sector of Antarctica has long been considered the most vulnerable part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) because of the great water depth at the grounding line, a subglacial bed
Expedition 379 Scientific Prospectus Addendum: Amundsen Sea West Antarctic Ice Sheet History: development and sensitivity of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet tested from drill records of the Amundsen Sea Embayment
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is largely marine based and thus highly sensitive to both climatic and oceanographic changes. Therefore, the WAIS has likely had a very dynamic history over the
The patterns and drivers of recent outlet glacier change in East Antarctica
West Antarctica and Greenland have made substantial contributions to global sea level rise over the past two decades. In contrast, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) has largely been in balance or
International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 379 Preliminary Report
  • K. Gohl
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2019
The Amundsen Sea sector of Antarctica has long been considered the most vulnerable part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) because of the great water depth at the grounding line and the absence
Grounding-line retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet from inner Pine Island Bay
Ice loss from the marine-based, potentially unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) contributes to current sea-level rise and may raise sea level by ≤3.3 m or even ≤5 m in the future. Over the past
Revisiting Antarctic ice loss due to marine ice-cliff instability
It is concluded that previous interpretations of these MICI projections over-estimate sea-level rise this century; because the MICI hypothesis is not well constrained, confidence in projections with MICI would require a greater range of observationally constrained models of ice-shelf vulnerability and ice-cliff collapse.
Constraints on Antarctic Ice Sheet configuration during and following the Last Glacial Maximum and its episodic contribution to sea-level rise
Abstract Marine geological studies provide a record of diachronous expansion and retreat of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet, West Antarctic Ice Sheet and East Antarctic Ice Sheet during the past c.


A Model for Holocene Retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
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Evidence is presented here showing drastic dynamic perturbations on former tributary glaciers that fed sections of the Larsen Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula before its collapse in 1995, prompting reconsideration of former hypotheses about the stabilizing role of ice shelves.
Recent Trends in Melting Conditions on the Antarctic Peninsula and Their Implications for Ice-sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level
Abstract Long-term records from meteorological stations on the Antarctic Peninsula show strong rising trends in the annual duration of melting conditions. In each case, the trend is statistically
New boundary conditions for the West Antarctic ice sheet: Subglacial topography beneath Pine Island Glacier
Predictions about future changes in the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) have been hampered by poorly known subglacial topography. Extensive airborne survey has allowed us
Northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica: further retreat after collapse
Abstract Changes of Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica, and the surrounding glaciers after its collapse in 1995 were investigated using satellite radar imagery, with emphasis on changes in the glaciers
Dynamical processes involved in the retreat of marine ice sheets
Abstract Marine ice sheets with mechanics described by the shallow-ice approximation by definition do not couple mechanically with the shelf. Such ice sheets are known to have neutral equilibria. We
Recent dramatic thinning of largest West Antarctic ice stream triggered by oceans
A growing body of observational data suggests that Pine Island Glacier (PIG) is changing on decadal or shorter timescales. These changes may have far‐reaching consequences for the future of the West
Breakup and conditions for stability of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica
The breakup of ice shelves has been widely regarded as an indicator of climate change, with observations around the Antarctic Peninsula having shown a pattern of gradual retreat, associated with
New boundary conditions for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: Subglacial topography of the Thwaites and Smith glacier catchments
Airborne radar sounding over the Thwaites Glacier (TG) catchment and its surroundings provides the first comprehensive view of subglacial topography in this dynamic part of the West Antarctic Ice
8 glacial cycles from an Antarctic ice core
A new ice core from Dome C, East Antarctica, provides a climate record extending740,000 years back in time. This almost doubles the period covered by the Vostokcore. The new data confirm the Vostok