Study Halves Prediction of Rising Seas

The New York Times

May 14, 2009

A new analysis halves longstanding projections of how much sea levels could rise if Antarctica’s massive western ice sheets fully disintegrated as a result of global warming.

The flow of ice into the sea would probably raise sea levels about 10 feet rather than 20 feet, according to the analysis, published in the May 15 issue of the journal Science.

The scientists also predicted that seas would rise unevenly, with an additional 1.5-foot increase in levels along the east and west coasts of North America and the east coast of southern Africa. That is because the shift in a huge mass of water away from the South Pole would subtly change the shape and rotation of the Earth, the authors said.

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