Scientific and observational data from Antarctica are driving home the message that we have entered a period of consequences.
Most recently, scientists have discovered ice streams hiding bigger reservoirs of water in West Antarctica. The evidence has “major implications for glacial melt rates and associated sea-level rises” and the rate of warming.
Equally frightening is that the ice streams feed into the Ross Ice Shelf, a major southern ice shelf whose melting would indicate “the end of the road” according to one scientist.
In 1999, scientists began to observe pools of water on top of the Larsen Ice Shelf (green shaded area near upper left peninsula), which soon after broke apart and shocked the world. At that time, scientists expressed concern were the warming to continue and move southward, particularly to the Ross Ice Shelf.
Now it has. Whether the discovery of the ice streams, water reservoirs, and lakes follows any climate model seems dwarfed by the rapid progression of direct observation succeeding intuition. Trouble is gushing forth.