Instead there is a ‘suggestion’ that it maybe included
in an IPCC Report 2013??? if we are lucky!
SEA water under an East Antarctic ice shelf showed no sign of higher temperatures despite fears of a thaw linked to global warming that could bring higher world ocean levels, first tests showed yesterday. Sensors lowered through three holes drilled in the Fimbul Ice Shelf showed the sea water is still around freezing and not at higher temperatures widely blamed for the break-up of 10 shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula, the most northerly part of the frozen continent in West Antarctica.
“The water under the ice shelf is very close to the freezing point,” Ole Anders Noest of the Norwegian Polar Institute wrote after drilling through the Fimbul, which is between 250m and 400m thick. “This situation seems to be stable, suggesting that the melting under the ice shelf does not increase,” he wrote of the first drilling cores.
Antarctica holds enough water to raise world sea levels by 57m if it ever all melted, so even tiny changes are a risk for low-lying coasts or cities from Beijing to New York.
The Institute said the water under the Fimbul was about -2.05C. Salty water freezes at a slightly lower temperature than fresh water. And it was slightly icier than estimates in a regional model for Antarctica, head of the Norwegian Polar Institute’s Center for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems, Nalan Koc, said. “The important thing is that we are now in a position to monitor the water beneath the ice shelf. “If there is a warming in future we can tell.”
She said data collected could go into a new report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due in 2013-14. The last IPCC report, in 2007, did not include computer models for sea temperature around the Fimbul Ice Shelf.
Experts have generally raised estimates for sea level rise – the United Nations spoke in late 2009 of a maximum 2m rise by 2100, up from 18-59cm estimated by the IPCC in 2007 that excluded any possible acceleration from Antarctica.
The break-up of ice shelves does not in itself contribute to raising sea levels since the ice is already floating. The risk is that pent-up glaciers on land will flow faster towards the ocean if the shelves are removed.