Researchers from the U.S Carnegie Institution performed a possible scenario where all available fossil fuel reserves are burned, such as coal, oil and gas. They warn that it could melt the entire Antarctic Ice Sheet and rise up sea levels by more than 50 to 60 meters over thousands years, and as a result many cities would sink. The research was published in the Journal Science Advance.

“Burning the currently attainable fossil fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic ice sheet.” said the research article, named “Combustion of available fossil fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Thwaites Glacier. Image credit: NASA

Scientists focused their research on the impact of these climate changes on our world’s population, they warned about the fact that populated areas may also drown. If the Antarctic Ice Sheet melt, it will also eliminate the Greenland Ice Sheet. Thus, cities like New York, London, Paris, Rome, Shanghai and relevant part from Netherlands, Bangladesh and Florida, could end up under water.

“If we burn it all, we’re going to melt it all” said Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science.

What is expected?

This current emissions from fossil fuel reserves, are making the West Antarctic Ice Sheet unbalanced, scientists believe that if this situation remains for 60 to 80 years, that would deem for just 6 to 8 percent of fossil fuel reserves.

Furthermore, Caldeira, along with three other colleagues, based their research on an estimate of how much fossil fuel is left in the ground in order to do cyber simulations. The findings were alarming due to the fact that if this current pattern continues, the sea level could rise up to 2 or 3 feet this century. Caldeira added “We’ll have something like 100 feet of sea-level rise 1,000 years from now, which means basically abandoning most of the major cities of the world.”

Ricarda Winkelmann, lead researcher and Dr. Junior Professor of Climate System Analysis claimed that “our actions today are changing the face of planet Earth as we know it, and will continue to do so for tens of thousands of years to come.”

Nowadays, the Antarctic Ice Sheet provides about ten percent to the global sea-level rise, most of it comes from expansion of oceans and from melting mountain glaciers, too much ice, as we know it. But, this could change, Winkelmann suggest that in the future it will be so much more, by ensuring that Antarctica will be the number one provider to the global sea level rise, and that’s basically because it holds too many ice.

Scientists suggest that people need to stop taking carbon resources out of the ground like they have been doing. They said people and industries are currently being irresponsible by dumping waste carbon dioxide into the sky. Thus, in the future, more than one billion people will suffer the consequences.

Caldeira suggest that we need to stop “dumping our waste carbon dioxide into the sky”

Source: Advance Journal Science