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Antarctic thaw 'will raise sea levels'.

Summary: Melting Antarctic ice could help sea levels rise up to 1.4m (4.5ft) by the end of the century, scientists have warned.

Melting Antarctic ice could help sea levels rise up to 1.4m (4.5ft) by the end of the century, scientists have warned.

According to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, temperatures could rise by about 3C (37.4F) on the continent over the coming decades as the hole in the ozone layer closes.

The Antarctic Peninsula in the west of the continent is seeing rapid ice loss in the face of warming temperatures, but other parts of the continent have been cooling - a phenomenon cited as evidence against global warming by climate change sceptics.

Professor John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey said researchers were "very confident" that the hole in the ozone layer had played a major part in maintaining cooler temperatures in Antarctica.

With measures to control the CFC gases that have caused the hole in the ozone layer, scientists say they expect it to "heal" in 50 to 60 years - exposing the Antarctic to the full effects of climate change, increasing temperatures and reducing sea ice by around a third.

The predicted sea level rise is significantly higher than the figures produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007, because that review did not include the impact of ice sheets on sea level rises, said Prof Turner.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Dec 1, 2009
Words:261
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