Sea ice breaks up in Antarctica.  Credit: Ted Mead / Getty

The new study’s lead author said that “it is extremely concerning to see such significant warming in Antarctica, beyond natural variability.”

Antarctica is warming at about double the rate of the rest of the planet and far more quickly than widely cited models projected, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Nature Climate Change that swiftly alarmed scientists around the world.

“This is absolutely devastating news,” declared climate scientist and University College London professor emeritus Bill McGuire.

“First, one has to wonder if perhaps we have already passed the West Antarctic collapse tipping point,” the expert added on social media. “Second, it begs the question, are other climate model projections underestimating the speed of climate breakdown?”

Polar amplification, a phenomenon that causes higher temperatures near the poles, is well established in the Arctic, with a study published last yearshowing that the northern region is warming nearly four times faster than the global average. However, it has been less clearly identified […]

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