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New Study Glaciers Melt on Doomsday in Antarctica

Melting ice shelves in West Antarctica.

We’ve become accustomed to bleak news on the climate front.

But this week’s report on what’s going on beneath Antarctica’s “doomsday glaciers” is one of the most frightening yet.

It should change the way we look at the future.

I have read hundreds of reports and articles about climate change in the past six or seven years.

To be sure, there are some things one can advocate for in good faith Hopeful news – Above all, it is about the expansion of solar and wind energy at the global level. They are now moving so quickly that demand for fossil fuels is expected to peak around 2030 and electricity production will soon come from the majority of “renewable” sources rather than coal, oil and gas.

For those who believe in modernity, in the idea of ​​constant progress, and that man can always control and shape his environment, this is a logical development.

Antarctica 2020.

Line of light

But the vast majority of reports are slightly adjusted. It is about signals from different ecosystems or places on Earth that, on the contrary, we are about to lose control.

However, these studies usually have a problem: If we reduce our emissions quickly, we have no chance of doing so. A tampon to hold on to, a ray of light in the dark – and why not? Hasn’t humanity extricated itself from all the predicaments it has fallen into so far?

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For this reason, the report was recently published in The nature of climate change If only the ice in West Antarctica was so scary. Among other things, it’s about two “doomsday glaciers” Thwaites and Pine Island, and how warm water reaches under the ice shelves and melts them from below.

It is reported that the ice sheets in West Antarctica It will inevitably meltWhatever we do, because of climate change. Even radical cuts in emissions in the coming decades will not be able to slow the melt.

Considering that West Antarctica contains enough ice to raise sea levels by five metres, this is incredible news.

Just over a third of the world’s population lives closer than 100 meters to the sea. Billions of people will be affected in the world’s largest cities.

Heiden coal power station in Petershagen, Germany.

“He lost control”

says the study’s lead author, Dr. Caitlin Naughton In a comment:

“We seem to have lost control of the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet. If we had wanted to preserve it in its historical state, we would have taken action against climate change decades ago. The bright side is that by realizing this and in this situation in advance, the world will have more Time to adapt to the next rise in sea level.

At the same time, she believes we must continue to fight climate change, because it could have a major impact in the next century.

Stone age brain

But will we be able to get that perspective, and realize the situation we are in – and what we need to do?

It is unlikely. Our brain exists in many, many things Stone age brain And act in the same way as when life was a constant struggle for survival on the savannah, when it was a matter of acting quickly and in the short term for the survival of you, your family or your group. We have much more difficulty dealing with long-term threats. Humanity will continue to live as if what was stated in the report did not require immediate amendment.

But if the authors of the new study – which is in line with many other reports – are right, it means we need to start looking at the future of future generations in a different way.

It is one thing to “fix” or “save” the climate, but another to start planning for adaptation.

There’s something about determinism that means we should at least start talking about it, beyond the illusions we have that everything will be solved by human creativity.