Antarctic ice melt will trigger disaster for Earth unless we stop global warming

Rising sea levels will soon cause “unstoppable and catastrophic” damage to Earth unless we slow global warming.

The rapid melting of the huge Antarctic ice sheet will fuel a dramatic increase in extreme flooding worldwide.

Sea levels will rise by 0.2 in a year by 2100, meaning huge coastal swathes of the UK will be under threat.

Co-author of a new study using modelling, Dr Daniel Gilford, of Rutgers University in New Jersey, US, said: "Ice-sheet collapse is irreversible.

"It’s critical to be proactive in mitigating climate change now through active international participation."

The Paris Climate Agreement’s goal is to limit the increase in global average temperature to 1.5C, but current international policies are likely to lead to about 3C of warming, says Dr Gilford.

Earlier this year a worrying new study suggested scorching hot summers in the UK could last for an astonishing six months.

Scientists warn warm weather could dominate half the year by the end of the century unless action is taken.

But this could have a disastrous impact on agriculture, human health, and the environment, they added.

During the 1950s in the Northern Hemisphere, the four seasons arrived in a predictable and fairly even pattern, but climate change is now driving dramatic and irregular changes.

These changes have affected the length and start dates of the seasons, which may become more extreme in the future, researchers said.

If these trends continue without any effort to mitigate climate change, the researchers predict that by the turn of the century winter will last less than two months.

These warmer and shorter winters could lead to instability, cold surges, and winter storms, similar to the recent snowstorms in Texas and Israel.

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The researchers used historical daily climate data from 1952 to 2011 to measure changes in the four seasons' length and onset in the Northern Hemisphere.

They defined the start of summer as the onset of temperatures in the hottest 25% during that time period, while winter began with temperatures in the coldest 25%.

Next, the team used established climate change models to predict how seasons will shift in the future.

The new study found that, on average, summer grew from 78 to 95 days between 1952 to 2011, while winter shrank from 76 to 73 days.

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