It was bad enough when the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)–the agglomeration of the world’s top climate scientists–predicted in 2007 that the globe’s oceans would rise by 16.5 feet if the West Antarctic ice sheet were to melt. But now comes a new study projecting that, in California and along the West Coast, the rise would be as much as 30% higher–21.5 feet.
“There is widespread concern that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet…may be prone to collapse in a warming world,” the researchers wrote. But author Peter U. Clark, a geosciences professor at Oregon State, cautioned, “It may not happen for hundreds of years, and even then it may not melt in its entirety.”
Nonetheless he suggested, “If you are planning for sea level rise, you had better plan a little higher.”
Hope and Glory – The Politics of Survival on a Small Blue Planet