The uncertain future of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

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Science  20 Mar 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6484, pp. 1331-1335
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz5487

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The Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing mass at an accelerating pace, and ice loss will likely continue over the coming decades and centuries. Some regions of the ice sheet may reach a tipping point, potentially leading to rates of sea level rise at least an order of magnitude larger than those observed now, owing to strong positive feedbacks in the ice-climate system. How fast and how much Antarctica will contribute to sea level remains uncertain, but multimeter sea level rise is likely for a mean global temperature increase of around 2°C above preindustrial levels on multicentennial time scales, or sooner for unmitigated scenarios.

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