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Showing posts from April, 2016

Keeping watch for the Antarctic storm

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There’s an old sailor’s expression: ‘below 40 degrees south there is no law, below 50 degrees south there is no God’. No where is more isolated and extreme than the Antarctic. But while it may be out of sight it most certainly shouldn’t be out of our minds. Cut off from civilisation by the storm-ridden Southern Ocean, the Antarctic ice sheets hold around ninety per cent of our planet’s ice and seventy per cent of its fresh water. There’s so much water in the Antarctic that if only a small proportion of it were to melt, global sea level could rise by several feet, threatening the likes of Dhaka, New York, Sydney and London. The big question is just how much will return to the world’s oceans in a warming world? While previous scientific studies have suggested Antarctica should be relatively immune to higher temperatures over the next hundred years, a spate of recent research has suggested the seventh continent is far from being as omnipotent as we had once thought, with some areas alrea…