(CBS Washington) Antarctic ice can be up to 2.6 miles thick, yet researchers say that the continent of Antarctica is rising unusually fast due to climate change.
Researchers told Live Science on Friday that a combination of climate change and hot rock miles underneath the earth’s surface flowing much faster than expected has caused the continent to rise in a similar fashion to mattresses decompressing after people get off of them.
Grace Nield, a geophysicist at Newcastle University in England, told Live Science that the “closer to the site of the ice loss — that is, right next to the thinning glaciers where we do not have any GPS sites — the Earth is likely to be rebounding significantly more than 15 millimeters per year.”
Past research has shown that these types of rebounds happen very slowly, usually over thousands of years. However, after looking at seven GPS stations on the Northern Antarctic Peninsula, Nield’s research showed that uplift of the continent was happening at 0.59 inches a year.
“You would expect this rebound to happen over thousands of years, and instead we have been able to measure it in just over a decade,” Nield said in a statement. “You can almost see it happening, which is just incredible.”
Nield’s research supports reports earlier this week from researchers at the University of California and NASA saying that Earth has “passed the point of no return.”
According to Time, new research suggests that 10% of Antarctica’s land ice volume is slowly melting, which could raise sea levels by 15ft; high enough to swamp coastal cities in place such as Southern Florida and Washington D.C.
On Sunday, San Diego’s Gov. Jerry Brown spoke out about climate change on ABC’s “This Morning,” saying, “We’re going to deal with nature as best we can, but humanity is on a collision course with nature.”
Brown went on to say that “virtually no Republican” in Washington accepts climate change, a heated issue among politicians.
Last year, Pew Research reported that only 25% of Tea-Party Republicans believed in climate change, drawing a striking split with the 61% of non-Tea Party Republicans that did.
Even with growing evidence of the earth’s temperature climbing, the large number of Tea-Party Republicans that don’t believe in climate change say “it’s just not happening” or that “we just don’t know enough yet about whether the earth is getting warmer.”
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