Antarctica

Time, tide and sea level rise wait for no one ... so are we ready? Photo: clappstar via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

No planet for optimists: coastal flooding may come sooner and bigger than we think

Pete Dolack
| 8th April 2016
Of all the impacts of climate change, one stands out for its inexorable menace, writes Pete Dolack: rising oceans. And it's not just for distant future generations to deal with: new scientific studies show that people alive today may face 6-9 metres of sea level rise flooding well over a million sq.km including many of the world's biggest cities. So where's the emergency response?

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Ice may be breaking off the Antarctic's sea shores, but in its vast centre, ice mass is growing three times faster. Photo: Glacier in Penola Strait, Antarctica, by Liam Quinn (CC BY-SA).

NASA: mass gains of Antarctic ice sheet exceed losses

Maria-José Viñas
NASA
| 4th November 2015
Antarctic glaciers are famously losing ice around the margins of the continent, writes Maria-José Viñas. But a new study from NASA shows that those losses are offset three times over by ice thickening in central Antarctica, causing sea levels to drop. However the net ice gain may run of steam in coming decades.

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Where ice meets ocean - Antarctic coastline by McKay Savage via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Antarctic warmth brings more snow, reducing sea level rise

Alex Kirby
Oliver Tickell
| 18th March 2015
Rising temperatures will result in more snow falling in Antarctica, and the build-up of ice will reduce sea level rise from other sources. But as the extra weight of ice makes Antarctica's glaciers flow faster, the continent will still be a net contributor to sea level rise.

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The cartographic submarine at work. Photo: WHOI.

Antarctic sea ice expands to record extent - and it's deeper than we thought

Edward Hanna
| 28th November 2014
While the Arctic melts, Antarctica's ice has spread to record extents in three consecutive years, writes Edward Hanna. But is the news as good as it looks? Yes, if indications from a robot submarine that the ice is thicker than expected are supported by further evidence. It may just be that Antarctica's ice is more resilient than scientists dared to hope.

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Water depth marker in the dried out bed of Lake Albert, South Australia. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons.

Australia's drought - yes, it's climate change

Tim Radford
| 18th July 2014
Australia's prime minister thinks climate change is 'crap' and has just abolished his country's carbon-pricing system. But scientists say that it's rising levels of CO2 that are leaving the south of the country parched and sweltering - and it's only going to get worse.

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The drought-stricken Chowilla floodplain in South Australia, Changing wind patterns are bringing cold and snow to Antarctica, while Australia gets hotter and drier. Photo: Gary Sauer-Thompson via Flickr.

Strong winds keep Antarctica cold - while Australia bakes

Tim Radford
| 16th May 2014
Rising greenhouse gas levels are causing stronger winds over the Southern Ocean. It's good news for Antarctica, writes Tim Radford, as the circumpolar winds are keeping its ice caps cold. But Australia is getting hotter and drier - and its problems will only increase.

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Swan at base camp on the 2013 expedition. Photo: 2041.com.

Operation Deep South

Isabel Sepkowitz
| 7th February 2014
Robert Swan - the first person to walk to both North and South Poles - will lead his 10th annual International Antarctic Expedition this coming March as part of his Antarctica 2041 campaign. Isabel Sepkowitz discovered what it's all about.

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Crossing the threshold

Peter Bunyard
| 1st February 2004
It takes no more than a gentle nudge to push a man over the edge of a cliff, but it is almost impossible to haul him back before he hits the ground. Given that we show no sign of putting a stop to global warming, Peter Bunyard takes a look at what the future might hold

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