2nd disaster – Antarctic ice sheet

Western Antarctic Ice Sheet

I wrote Hope Island in 2019 – already one of the three predicted events has almost happened and the loss of the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet is a real and looming threat.

I’m no expert on this, but I did read reputable scientific reports on the potential impact and level of threat. Large parts of the WAIS sit on a land bed which is below sea level and sloping downward inland. This mean that the ice sheet is extremely vulnerable and potentially unstable. A small retreat in just one major glacier could, in theory, destabilise the entire WAIS, leading to rapid disintegration. (google Thwaites Glacier if you want to be scared)

In some places the ice is over one mile thick. If it does collapse the estimated rise in sea level, worldwide, is around 3.3 metres, or almost 11 feet. This could happen in a matter of a few years, giving us little or no time to prepare.

Most capital cities of the world started life as ports. Very few would survive with that sort of sea level rise, coastlines would change everywhere and many new islands would be created. In my novel Hope Island is one such place.

Published by Bruce Aiken

A maths and physics student who ran away to art college and has worked as a freelance creative ever since.

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