The Sea-Level Fingerprint of West Antarctic Collapse

Edited: 2011-02-21
TitleThe Sea-Level Fingerprint of West Antarctic Collapse
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsMitrovica, J., N. Gomez, and P. Clark
Date Published02/2009
Keywordsclimate, ice, sea_level
AbstractRecent projections of sea-level rise after a future collapse of theWest Antarctic Ice Sheet (for example, the Fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report) assume that meltwater will spread uniformly (that is, eustatically) across the oceans once marine-based sectors of the West Antarctic are filled. A largely neglected 1977 study predicted that peak values would be 20% higher than the eustatic in the North Pacific and 5 to 10% higher along the U.S. coastline. We show, with use of a state-of-the-art theory, that the sea-level rise in excess of the eustatic value will be three times higher than previously predicted for U.S. coastal sites.