El punto sin retorno de la Antártida

POTSDAM – Las observaciones por satélite realizadas recientemente han confirmado la precisión de dos simulaciones por ordenador independientes que muestran que la capa de hielo de la Antártida occidental ha entrado en una etapa de colapso irrevocable. El planeta ha comenzado una nueva era de irreversibles consecuencias del cambio climático. La única pregunta que nos queda por hacer es si podremos hacer lo suficiente para evitar que vuelva a ocurrir en otros lugares.

Los últimos estudios revelan que hay zonas cruciales del sistema climático del mundo que, a pesar de su gran tamaño, son tan frágiles que la actividad humana puede perturbarlas irremediablemente. Es inevitable que mientras más se recaliente el planeta, mayor será el riesgo de que otras partes de la Antártida lleguen a un punto de inflexión similar; de hecho, hoy sabemos que la cuenca Wilkes de la Antártida oriental, tan grande o incluso mayor que la capa de hielo del área occidental, podría encontrarse en una situación de vulnerabilidad similar.

No hay demasiadas actividades humanas cuyo impacto se pueda predecir de manera razonable con décadas, siglos o incluso milenios de anticipación. Una de ellas son los residuos nucleares; otra son las emisiones de gases de invernadero y sus efectos sobre el calentamiento global y el ascenso del nivel del mar.

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