Glacier in Antarctica
US Embassy Santiago, Chile
NASA mission in Antarctica.

One of the biggest sources of concern for scientists regarding climate change is the uncertainty surrounding melting ice sheets in the Antarctic causing rising sea levels. New research coauthored by University of Washington Earth and Space Sciences professor Gerard Roe used mathematical analysis and computer models to make projections of future sea levels, pointing to ice sheets growing unstable and flowing into the ocean sooner than expected. Specifically, a state-of-the-art ice sheet model of Thwaites glacier confirms that the glacier is becoming increasingly unstable.

The Thwaites glacier is part of the ice sheet in West Antarctica, and is considered to be the most unstable in the continent. Researchers warn that the glacier could lose all its ice in 150 years, resulting in about half a meter of sea rise. Instabilities hidden within Antarctic ice are likely to accelerate flow into the ocean and push sea levels to rise faster than has been predicted.

CNN, TIME and Forbes cover the study further.