May 14, 2009 | 40
A new estimate puts maximum global sea level rise from the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet at 10.5 feet (3.2 meters)—not the 16 feet (five meters) or more predicted in the past.
The latest research indicates that this massive ice sheet is unlikely to disappear completely, limiting the damage as it melts. Glaciologist Jonathan Bamber of the University of Bristol in England and his colleagues modeled the collapse of the ice sheet based on the relative likelihood of a given section vanishing completely.
Their work suggests only those parts of the ice sheet that are grounded below sea level or sloping downwards would collapse. Those parts of the sheet grounded above sea level or on bedrock that slopes upwards would remain in place.
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