This Week Brings 3 Grim Climate Headlines

Sea ice in Antarctica has hit a record low
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2023 1:26 PM CST
This Week Brings 3 Grim Climate Headlines
A robot nicknamed Icefin operates under the sea ice near McMurdo Station in Antarctica in 2020. The pencil-shaped robot gave scientists their first look at the forces eating away at the Thwaites Glacier.   (Schmidt/Lawrence/Icefin/NASA PSTAR RISE UP via AP)

While it's rare for a week to go by without bleak news on the climate, this week has been more alarming than most. Three major stories, all linked to melting ice and rising seas:

  • Antarctic sea ice hits record low. Sea ice around Antarctica has hit its lowest level on record and researchers believe it will shrink even more before the Southern Hemisphere summer is over, the Guardian reports. Scientists say that after decades of relative stability despite warmer temperatures, there have been "remarkable" losses of sea ice over the last six years. "I have never seen such an extreme, ice-free situation here before,” says German researcher Karsten Gohl from the Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, who first visited the region almost 30 years ago.

  • "Doomsday glacier" is in trouble. The Thwaites Glacier in western Antarctica—nicknamed the "Doomsday" glacier" because of the effect its collapse would have on sea levels—could be in more danger than thought, CNN reports. Researchers say that while melting beneath the ice shelf holding the glacier is happening more slowly than expected, cracks and crevasses caused by warm water are expanding and "may become the primary trigger for ice shelf collapse."
  • UN chief warns rising seas risk "death sentence" for some countries. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the UN Security Council Tuesday that rising sea levels will be "a death sentence" for some island nations under current policies, the AP reports. "The global ocean has warmed faster over the past century than at any time in the past 11,000 years," Guterres said. He said that along with vulnerable countries, "mega-cities on every continent will face serious effects, including Cairo, Lagos, Maputo, Bangkok, Dhaka, Jakarta, Mumbai, Shanghai, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, New York, Buenos Aires, and Santiago.”
(More climate change stories.)

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