Ice core analysis performed by US researchers Eric Steig and David Schneider have found for the first time a direct link between changes in tropical climates and the sometimes huge temperature swings seen in the Antarctic. Estimating that the West Antarctic in particular has warmed approximately 0.9 degrees Celsius over the past century, which is higher than the global average, the scientists found that this temperature change is a direct response to phenomena in the Pacific such as the El Niño effect. Dr. Schneider stated, “As the tropics warm, so too will West Antarctica.” With ice that averages over a mile in depth, a melting of Antarctica would cause sea levels to rise by a disastrous 8 to 16 feet.
Drs. Steig, Schneider and colleagues, we thank you for sharing this understanding of the Antarctic’s warming cycles. We pray for these insights to generate even more urgency in our efforts to live sustainably and halt the effects of climate change.