Scientists warn of rising sea level after ice sheet collapses

By Michelle Kapusta,

A large ice sheet in Antarctica has collapsed and now the rise of sea level by 10 to 15 feet may be inevitable.

According to NBC News, scientists have said that the West Antarctic ice sheet has melted and jump-started the century-long process that will raise the levels of the oceans.

"There's been a lot of speculation about the stability of marine ice sheets, and many scientists suspected that this kind of behavior is under way," Ian Joughin, a glaciologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in a news release on Monday. "This study provides a more qualitative idea of the rates at which the collapse could take place."

The process of the oceans rising to 15 feet could take 100 years, however, after the century mark it could become a major crisis.

Bloomberg News noted that NASA has said that the ice sheet is melting so quickly that it is unstoppable and passed “the point of no return.”

Scientists believe that the warm water that rose from the ocean depths was a contributing factor to the instability and eventual collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet.

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