Fear of the “Sleeping Giant”.

Fear of the "Sleeping Giant".

In a study published in the prestigious journal Nature Last week, many scientists warned against the dangers of the “sleeping giant” of melting ice in East Antarctica.

If global warming continues at the same pace, melting in East Antarctica alone could lead to a sea level rise of 1-3 meters by 2300 and 2-5 meters by 2500, the researchers report.

Waiting for the temperature to rise

Global warming has so far been 1.1 degrees. But temperatures will rise further in line with ever-increasing global emissions of greenhouse gases.

Earlier, there is the expert panel Climate Action Tracker It is estimated that warming by 2100 could be between 1.8 and 2.9 degrees – depending on how many promises about emissions cuts are actually kept.

Norway has so far pledged to cut CO₂ emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and is one of the signatories to the Paris Agreement. The central formulation of the agreement since 2015 is to keep global warming below 2 degrees, preferably closer to 1.5 degrees, compared to pre-industrial levels.

Flashing: Russian biologist Verna Emelianenko was greeted by an astonishing sight on an arctic winter night. Video: Facebook
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I think time is running out

In the study referred to by The IndependentIf global warming is kept below 2 degrees, the ice sheet in East Antarctica is thought to increase by “only” half a meter in sea level by 2500.

However, researchers warn that time is running out – and if the “sleeping giant” is not to be awakened, action must be taken now.

Nevertheless, it is asserted that a certain rise in sea levels as a result of melting in West Antarctica and the Arctic can be avoided. The world’s ice sheets are now shrinking three times faster than they were 30 years ago.

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Researcher Nerili Abram, one of the authors behind the study, says the ice in East Antarctica is highly sensitive to even moderate scenarios for global warming, according to The Independent.

– It is not as stable and protected as we once thought, he says, adding:

– Fulfilling and strengthening our commitments to the Paris Agreement will not only protect the world’s largest ice sheet, but also slow the melting of other large ice sheets in Greenland and West Antarctica, which are most vulnerable to global warming, Abrams says.

Rare sightings: A huge glacier broke off from Antarctica recently. The glacier is three times larger than the municipality of Oslo. Photo: A.P
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UN warns

The UN Climate Panel IPCC has already warned that we are entering very bad times if the world is to manage temperature rise below 1.5 degrees and avoid the worst climate consequences.

– We face many challenges such as limiting global warming, the EU’s Green Deal and reaching net zero emissions by 2050, said Mauro Facchini at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Defense Industry and Space, the agency responsible for Copernicus.

– The fact that we are already seeing extreme climate-related events in Europe underlines the urgency.

Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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