West Antarctic ice sheet and CO2 greenhouse effect: a threat of disaster

@article{Mercer1978WestAI,
  title={West Antarctic ice sheet and CO2 greenhouse effect: a threat of disaster},
  author={John H. Mercer},
  journal={Nature},
  year={1978},
  volume={271},
  pages={321-325}
}
If the global consumption of fossil fuels continues to grow at its present rate, atmospheric CO2 content will double in about 50 years. Climatic models suggest that the resultant greenhouse-warming effect will be greatly magnified in high latitudes. The computed temperature rise at lat 80° S could start rapid deglaciation of West Antarctica, leading to a 5 m rise in sea level. 
Modelling the Response of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to a Climatic Warming
Increasing carbon dioxide and other trace gases in the atmosphere over the next few centuries may lead to important consequences in regard to climatic change. One of the most severe consequencesExpand
Stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet in a warming world
(equivalent to 0.28 to 0.56 mm yr −1 sea-level rise), with the rate growing over at least the past two decades 1–4 . These observations intensify concerns about the ice sheet’s stability that wereExpand
Global warming and the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
Of today's great ice sheets, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet poses the most immediate threat of a large sea-level rise, owing to its potential instability. Complete release of its ice to the ocean wouldExpand
On Antarctic climate and change
Scientists warned 25 years ago that global warming would initiate the retreat of ice shelves in the northern Antarctic Peninsula (Mercer 1978). A further warming could even lead to the disintegrationExpand
West Antarctic ice sheet and CO2 greenhouse effect: a threat of disaster
ABSTRACT Over 40 years ago, the glaciologist John Mercer warned that parts of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet were at risk of collapse due to the CO2 greenhouse effect. Mercer recognised the uniqueExpand
Northern Hemisphere ice-sheet responses to past climate warming
During periods of glaciation, the Northern Hemisphere was swathed by large ice sheets. A review of ice-sheet retreat during the last two deglaciations shows that land-based ice sheets respondedExpand
Divergent trajectories of Antarctic surface melt under two twenty-first-century climate scenarios
Ice shelves modulate Antarctica’s contributions to sea-level rise. Regional-climate-model simulations and observations suggest historical ice melt intensification before collapse of AntarcticExpand
Modelling the cryospheric response
One of the possible effects of a CO2-warming are changes in the cryospheric environment. In particular the reaction of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets forms a potential threat, because the iceExpand
Climate code red: the case for a sustainability emergency
The extensive melting of Arctic sea-ice in the northern summer of 2007 starkly demonstrated that serious climate-change impacts are already happening, both more rapidly and at lower global Expand
Ice plug prevents irreversible discharge from East Antarctica
The Wilkes ice sheet in East Antarctica, which lies on bedrock below sea level, is sensitive to climate change but its stability and potential contribution to sea-level rise has not beenExpand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 36 REFERENCES
Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?
If man-made dust is unimportant as a major cause of climatic change, then a strong case can be made that the present cooling trend will, within a decade or so, give way to a pronounced warmingExpand
Future sea-level changes due to West Antarctic ice sheet fluctuations
Global sea-level changes which would result from an instantaneous uniform thinning of the possibly unstable West Antarctic ice sheet are calculated and found to be nonuniform. At locations distantExpand
Energy and Climate
If the world depends on fossil fuels for its energy needs over the next two centuries, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council report Energy and Climate foresees theExpand
Global distributions of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the fossil-fuel era: a projection.
  • M. Hoffert
  • Environmental Science, Medicine
  • Atmospheric environment
  • 1974
Abstract A model describing latitudinal mixing and accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over the entire (projected) fossil-fuel era of human history but in the absence of climatic feedExpand
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet: Instability, disintegration, and initiation of Ice Ages
An ice age model is proposed in which glacial-interglacial global climatic cycles are controlled by interactions between the cryosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere in the Atlantic environment. InExpand
Interglacial High Sea Levels and the Control of Greenland Ice by the Precession of the Equinoxes
The precession of the equinoxes appears to control the occurrence of high sea levels by partial or even total melting of the Greenland ice cap during interglacial ages.
On the Carbon Dioxide-Climate Confusion.
Abstract A number of estimates of global surface temperature sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide to 600 ppm are collected here and critically reviewed. The assumptions andExpand
Radio-echo layers and the recent stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet
A new method for studying polar ice sheets confirms the generally accepted concepts of ice sheet flow and finds that a region near the ice crest of the West Antarctic ice sheet has been stable for ∼Expand
Recent climatic warming around New Zealand
MANY papers have described the climatic fortunes of areas in the Northern Hemisphere over the past few hundred years; the progressive warming during 1890–1940, and the present deterioration. SomeExpand
Thickening of the Ross Ice Shelf and equilibrium state of the West Antarctic ice sheet
Data from the south-east quadrant of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica indicate that, near the grounding line, the ice shelf is growing thicker by almost 1 m yr−1. This thickening rate implies anExpand
...
1
2
3
4
...