publication . Article . 2008

West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse – the fall and rise of a paradigm

David G. Vaughan;
Open Access English
  • Published: 20 Aug 2008
  • Publisher: Springer
  • Country: United Kingdom
Abstract
It is now almost 30 years since John Mercer (1978) first presented the idea that climate change could eventually cause a rapid deglaciation, or “collapse”, of a large part of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS), raising world sea levels by 5 metres and causing untold economic and social impacts. This idea, apparently simple and scientifically plausible, created a vision of the future, sufficiently alarming that it became a paradigm for a generation of researchers and provided an icon for the green movement. Through the 1990s, however, a lack of observational evidence for ongoing retreat in WAIS and improved understanding of the complex dynamics of ice streams me...
Subjects
free text keywords: Glaciology, Atmospheric Science, Global and Planetary Change, Climate change, Global change, Antarctic ice sheet, Global warming, Climatology, Sea level, Geology, Deglaciation, Ice sheet, geography.geographical_feature_category, geography
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publication . Article . 2008

West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse – the fall and rise of a paradigm

David G. Vaughan;