SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – West Antarctica’s glaciers are melting; researchers told 22News there’s reason for concern here in western Massachusetts.
A new study by NASA and the University of California, Irvine shows the West Antarctic glaciers are melting rapidly and the damage is irreversible.
“There’s a fear that once they start retreating that there’s no mechanism to stop this retreat of these specific glaciers and there’s a potential that there will be even more instability in the other parts of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.”
These glaciers in the West Antarctic are melting faster than expected and researchers say people in western Massachusetts should be concerned.
“It doesn’t make me nervous at all because I feel like we’re still recovering from an Ice Age so I just think it’s just the world taking its natural course, I guess,” Holly Chappell of Lenox said.
The new study blames warm ocean currents and geographic abnormalities, which could raise the global sea level by 4 feet.
Researchers in the Climate System Research Center at UMass Amherst say higher sea levels could lead to harsher winter storms, hurricanes and flooding.
“The weather has definitely gotten a lot worse and that definitely scares me,” Sarah Raposo of Amherst said.
A United Nations climate report states that sea levels could rise from 1 to 3 feet by 2100 possibly displacing tens of millions of people all over the world.
The ice in West Antarctica is melting 77 percent faster than it was 40 years ago.