Study: East Antarctic Ice Sheet has stayed frozen for 14 million years – ‘Did not experience significant melting…when CO2 concentrations rivaled what they are today’
The work adds new support for the idea that the EAIS did not experience significant melting even during the Pliocene, a period from 3 to 5 million years ago, when carbon dioxide concentrations rivaled what they are today.
“The Pliocene is sometimes thought to be an analog to what Earth will be like if global warming continues,” said Jane K. Willenbring, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences. “This gives us some hope that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet could be stable in today’s and future climate conditions.”
By offering support for the idea that the EAIS has been largely stable during the last 14 million years, the research offers some hope that a massive collapse of the ice sheet, and associated sea level rise of tens of meters, may not be imminent.